Advantages and limitations of MgO as a dielectric for GaN

B. P. Gila, J. Kim, B. Luo, A. Onstine, W. Johnson, F. Ren, C. R. Abernathy, S. J. Pearton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


MgO and Sc2O3 were deposited by gas source molecular beam epitaxy on GaN. MgO was found to produce lower interface state densities than Sc2O3, 2-3 × 1011 vs. 9-11 × 1011 eV-1 cm-2. The good electrical quality of the interface is believed to be due to the presence of a single crystal epitaxial layer at the GaN surface. By contrast, the MgO was found to be more sensitive to environmental and thermal degradation than the Sc2O 3. The environmental degradation is believed to be due to interaction with water vapor in the air and was suppressed by capping of the MgO. Annealing at the temperatures needed for implant activation in GaN produced significant roughening of the MgO/GaN interface and an order of magnitude increase in the interface state density. This sensitivity to thermal degradation will require changes in the processing sequence presently envisioned for e-mode devices in order to avoid damaging the interface and increasing the gate leakage in the device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2139-2142
Number of pages4
JournalSolid-State Electronics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the US Office of Naval Research for support of this work under grant no. US Navy N00014-98-1-0204 and the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research under grant no. US Air Force 203-2972-8451.


  • Dielectric
  • GaN
  • Interface state density
  • MgO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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