Evidence of two-dimensional hole gas in p-type AlGaN/AlN/GaN heterostructures

Qiyuan Wei, Zhihao Wu, Kewei Sun, Fernando Ponce, Joaquim Hertkorn, Ferdinand Scholz

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15 Scopus citations


The electronic band structure of a modulation-doped p-type AlGaN/AlN/GaN heterostructure, where the AlGaN layer is compositionally graded, has been studied by electron holography. The electrostatic potential energy profile and the two-dimensional hole gas (2DHG) distribution have been measured with high spatial resolution across the heterostructure. A positive curvature in the potential profile has been observed, and it is considered as evidence for the accumulation of holes in a 2DHG at the AlN/GaN interface. It is also observed that the potential barrier for the 2DHG is greatly affected by acceptor ionization in the p-AlGaN layer. This knowledge of nature of the energy barriers for hole transfer between adjacent channels is important in the optimization of vertical conductivity of p-type AlGaN/GaN heterostructures, which can be used as current spreading layers in GaN-based light emitting diodes or laser diodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121001
JournalApplied Physics Express
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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