Two Dimensional Imaging of the Laterally Inhomogeneous Au/4H-SiC Schottky Barrier by Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy
We present a novel approach based on conductive atomic force microscopy (c-AFM) for nano-scale mapping of the Schottky barrier height (SBH) between a semiconductor and an ultrathin (1-5 nm) metal film. The method was applied to characterize the uniformity of the Au/4H-SiC Schottky contact, which is attractive for applications due to the high reported (∼1.8 eV) SBH value. Since this system is very sensitive to the SiC surface preparation, we investigated the effect on the nano-scale SBH distribution of a ∼2 nm thick not uniform SiO2 layer. The macroscopic I-V characteristics on Au/SiC and Au/not uniform SiO2/SiC diodes showed that the interfacial oxide lowers the average SBH. The c-AFM investigation is carried out collecting arrays of I-V curves for different tip positions on 1μm×1μm area. From these curves, 2D SBH maps are obtained with 10- 20 nm spatial resolution and energy resolution <0.1 eV. The laterally inhomogeneous character of the Au/SiC contact is demonstrated. In fact, a SBH distribution peaked at 1.8 eV and with tails from 1.6 eV to 2.1 eV is obtained. Moreover, in the presence of the not uniform oxide at the interface, the SBH distribution exhibits a 0.3 eV peak lowering and a broadening (tails from 1.1 eV to 2.1 eV).
N. Wright, C.M. Johnson, K. Vassilevski, I. Nikitina and A. Horsfall
F. Giannazzo et al., "Two Dimensional Imaging of the Laterally Inhomogeneous Au/4H-SiC Schottky Barrier by Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 556-557, pp. 545-548, 2007