SNOM Investigation of Surface Morphology Changes during Cr/Au Contact Fabrication on Single-Crystal CVD Diamond
The formation of metal/diamond Ohmic contacts is essential to most electronic devices. In order to form a good Ohmic contact to diamond a carbide-forming metal such as Ti or Cr is necessary. In this study, Cr/Au contacts to heavily boron-doped single crystal CVD diamond were fabricated by subsequent deposition of Cr and Au. The surface morphology and specific contact resistance of diamond/Cr/Au contacts has been investigated. The reaction between the Cr metal and the diamond during annealing gives an improved specific contact resistance. However, this reaction also causes a significant change in the surface morphology. The surface morphology of singlecrystal diamond is shown to greatly influence the properties of metal contacts to diamond. Shearforce mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) investigations have been used to examine the diamond surface before metallization, and after removing the metal contact. The initial diamond surface was predominantly smooth, apart from some scratches from the polishing process. Surface RMS roughness values of around 0.4nm were found. Correlation between surface morphology and contact resistance has been found, with rougher surfaces exhibiting a barrier to conduction. An understanding of the contact formation process is an essential step in achieving high quality Ohmic contacts which are vital in the fabrication of high quality diamond devices.
Robert P. Devaty, David J. Larkin and Stephen E. Saddow
D. Doneddu et al., "SNOM Investigation of Surface Morphology Changes during Cr/Au Contact Fabrication on Single-Crystal CVD Diamond", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 527-529, pp. 1587-1590, 2006