1 Deep levels and DLTS 2


Deep states 1.1.1

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2 3 4 5 5 6 8 8 9 10 11 12 13 13 14

Transient response


Basis of transient depletion experiment for a majority carrier trap . . . . . . . . . 1.2.1 Rectangular transient charge model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The trapped charge spatial distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charge transient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3.1 1.3.2 1.3.3 The two-point subtraction rate window principle DLTS & quantum wells Diculties aecting DLTS experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A brief overview of quantum wells

DLTS probe of a Schottky barrier with a single quantum well . .


We will not treat extensively the SRH theory. lifetime is rate.1 Deep states An electron and a hole in a semiconductor may recombine. it is radiative or optical if the energy is balanced through a photon. (2) electron capture from the conduction band. i. while its recombination the processes (2) and (3). in which energy is losed or acquired by another carrier. the recombination rate is limited by the minority carrier capture σn < vn >= σp < vp > close to the midgap energy: deep levels are eective recombination centers if they are near the middle of the gap. but clearly in light-emitting devices one tries to favour the former process. We may classify the Generation-Recombination processes in various ways: we speak of direct or band-band GR if the carrier transition occurs in a single process. there also exist indirect radiative mechanisms. only when the level is close the midgap all the processes have the same probability. (4) electron emission to the valence band.Chapter 1 Deep levels and DLTS 1. nally let's hint to Auger mechanism. Obviously if the level is next to the valence band the (1) and (3) processes are more probable than the (2) and (4) ones.1: Emission and capture processes at a deep level: (1) hole emission to the valence band. let's only say that. If than the majority carrier concentration). in a doped semiconductor. it is aected by the level position within the bandgap. or be generated if the electronic transition is in the opposite direction. 2 .e. The most important indirect GR mechanism is the non-radiative or Shockley-Read-Hall (SRH) one. If the energy involved in the transition is given by/transfered to lattice phonons it is non-radiative or thermal. Since the transition probability is exponentially related to the energy jump. of indirect or trap assisted GR if the carrier transition is via energy levels within the bandgap. set that σ is τ ∼ τmin0 ≡ < v >is the carrier average thermal velocity then the minority carrier 1 Nt <vmin >σmin . Radiative and non-radiative recombination processes compete between each other. then we speak of GR centre when the level is nearby midgap situated. On the left we show the four possible nonradiative processes via a generic trap level Et . Because of generation of an electron-hole couple implies the occuring of processes (1) and (4). Figure 1. (3) hole capture from the valence band. if the level is next to the conduction band it happens vice versa. if the deep level is at or close to the midgap. it depends on the deep level density Nt and minority then the non-radiative lifetime is minimized if trap level is at or carrier characteristic quantities. in low level injection condition (: the excess carriers concentrations are the carrier capture section. if an electron transition from the conduction band to the valence band occurs.

and antisite defects.2) en . such deep levels or traps are called luminescence killers. The electron occupancy of the deep state is determined by the competing processes of emission and capture: electrons are emitted/holes are captured at the emitted/electrons are captured at the occupancy is nt occupied states. If we set the boundary condition then its general solution is nt (t = 0) ≡ nt (0). These defects include unwanted foreign atoms. vacancies. for σn the electron capture cross section. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 3 Defects in the crystal structure are the most common cause for deep levels within the bandgap. dislocations.2: if Electron and hole capture and emission processes for an electron trap in a n-type semiconductor n < vn >electrons per unit area per unit time: nt deep states out of Nt are occupied by ∆t the number of electrons captured pt ≡ Nt −nt unoccupied states is ∆nt = electrons at any instant. The initial nt (0) nt (∞) occupancy Nt is usually set experimentally: when it diers from the equilibrium value Nt .1. rate equation when density Nt the net doping Nd − Na . All such defects form one or several energy levels within the forbidden gap of the semiconductor. Let's determine solutions to the above. holes are pt unoccupied states. in a successive time interval by the σn < vn > n(Nt − nt )∆t. 1. native defects. in compound semiconductors. hole emission rates. foreign atoms. so called. Owing to the promotion of non-radiative processes. then the occupancy relaxes exponentially to this latter with rate constant are: a + b. and so for non-radiative recombination.1) Due to and an analogue expression holds for the hole capture rate per occupied state the minority carrier lifetime: for a p-type semiconductor recombination of electrons and holes at the deep centre.ep the electron.1 Transient response Let's consider a deep state with energy concentration Et and Nt for a n-type semiconductor. b ≡ en + cp . or dislocations. p are not inuenced by the GR processes and can be considered constant. and the net change rate of electron dnt = (cn + ep )(Nt − nt ) − (cp + en )nt dt for (1. nt (t) = nt (∞) − [nt (∞) − nt (0)] exp − set that the steady state occupancy is t τ nt (∞) a = Nt a+b τ ≡ (1. and thus the free carriers concentrations n. thus the non radiative ∆t τnnrad = σn < vn > (Nt − nt ). and any complexes of defects. native defects include interstitials.3) 1 a+b is the time constant. (1. the four basic processes which determine its population dynamic are the capture and emission (from and to the relative band) for both carriers. so the electron capture rate per unoccupied state is cn ≡ 1 ∆nt · = σn < vn > n Nt − nt ∆t cp . two special cases . dened the parameters a ≡ cn + ep . the carrier capture rate is related to 1 τn lifetime associated with electron capture at the deep state is 1 ≡ n · ∆nt . Let a deep centre be exposed to a ux of Figure 1.CHAPTER 1.

−E p = NV exp − EFkT V . then. Instead. when the only process is that of electron emission. Fynally.1. Thus we can relate the capture and emission rates for both carriers: en = g exp cn Since Et − EF kT = cp ep (1. and the emission and capture time dependent. where g ≡ g0 g1 is the degeneracy ratio.2). then the instantaneous − dnt = en nt (t). Unlike shallow hydrogenic levels. We remember that for a non degenerate semiconductor holds the Boltzmann approximation: −E n = NC exp − ECkT F .7). we nd that the thermal equilibrium trap occupancy is ep cn nt ˆ = = cn + en Nt ep + cp statistics. ep > cp . Because of Equation (4. the capture rate cn is dependent on the doping density. it holds: the steady state condition: dnt dt = 0. the principle of detailed balance: the rates for a process and its inverse must be equal and balance in detail (so that it does not occur a net electron transfer from a band to another): en nt = cn (Nt − nt ) ep (Nt − nt ) = cp nt By combining the above requirements with the rate Equation (4. the electron occupancy is ruled by Fermi-Dirac nt ˆ Nt = 1 1+g exp Et −EF kT . through equations (4. roughly speaking.e.1.1 The trap signature At thermal equilibrium. then nt (t) increases with time nt (t) = nt (∞) 1 − exp − t τ (1.7) g is of order of unity. at thermal equilibrium. the analogue is valid for cp too.6) on the other hand. and so (1.8) . while rates: for instance. the probability per unit time that a single electron is 1. i. then nt (t) decays nt (t) = for t Nt a + b exp − a+b τ (1.5) We must be careful and distinguish between the rate of change of rate of emission of electrons from the trap is emitted. nt . while if EF < Et ⇒ cn < en . the emission rates and the capture cross sections are intrinsic characteristics of the trap. if EF = Et ⇒ cn ∼ en . deep state centres may be occupied by more than one electron.4) nt (0) = 0. dt en is the emission rate per trapped electron. ep ∼ cp : strictly speaking en = cn when EF = Et − kT ln g . g0 being the degeneracy of the trap level Et when it is electronless and g1 that when the trap level is occupied by one electron. if EF > Et ⇒ cn > en .CHAPTER 1.1) and (4. we derive en = σn < vn > g exp − EC − Et kT (1.1). DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 4 for nt (0) = Nt . ep < cp .

then at the equilibrium nt = Nt . i. if cn en . we call the deep level an electron trap if it is it is located in the upper part of the gap (Et it is located in the lower part of the gap. and that the apparent capture cross section σna is ∝ to the extrapolated (T = ∞) value of the capture cross section through the degeneracy factor.1. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 5 and by similar proceding ep = σp < vp > 1 Et − EV exp − g kT (1.e. both the identications are valid only if EC − Et is temperature independent.10) 1 T .1. in the case of electron emission: < vn >= NC = 2MC 3kT m∗ .3 Ma jority and minority carrier traps Let's make a short resume of what just seen: the relation en by the position of the trap level the ratio that ep .11) We remember that the intrinsic Fermi level is EF i ≡ + kT 2 ln NV NC .CHAPTER 1.9) We may determine the temperature dependence of the emission rates. i. and the equilibrium nt (∞) Nt occupancy is = cn cn +en . for m∗ the conduction band eective mass. it is close to:   the conduction band edge for a n-type semiconductor the valence band edge for a p-type semiconductor⇒ ⇒ EF > Et .1.7)). experimental data for most traps t the above curve over many orders of magnitude of en . > E1 ). Let's observe that the apparant versus e ln Tn 2 Ena ≡ EC − Et + ∆Eσ is not the trap level. activation energy 1. called trap signature. so the energy E1 i. if we assume then σ(T ) = σ∞ exp − ∆Eσ kT en (T ) ≡ γT 2 σna exp − A plot of Ena kT (1.11)). But.2 Electron trap and hole trap Because of Equations (4. for h2 MC the number of conduction band minima.9). we nd that: an electron trap (en cn > en ep ) in a n-type semiconductor (cn > en . EF (Equation (4. which establish if the trap is electron-kind or hole-kind. 1.e. if we assume the net doping density then EF is controlled by the doping. is a straight line. We may catalogue the traps according the Ena and σna values. EF < Et .1. ˆ . we nd that en = ep if Et = E1 ≡ EF i + kT ln 2 σp < vp > σn < vn > EC +EV 2 (1. By combining the two points above. while it is an hole trap if it en > ep . .e. is en < ep .8)&(4. is located near the midgap energy. is determined Et respect to the energy E1 (Equation (4. 2πm∗ kT 3/2 . Nt e c depends on the relative positions of Et . ep > cp ) is such that 1 ep > cp ⇒ nt (t) relaxes with time constant τ = cn +en .

as in the case of majority carrier traps.2 Basis of transient depletion experiment for a majority carrier trap Let's examine the sequence in a transient depletion experiment for a Schottky barrier on a n-type semiconductor. ep < cp ) is such that cn < en 1 cp +ep . Figure 1. set that x0 is the depletion cn > en . 1. and the equilibrium occupancy is cn is negligible (because cn ∝ n) nt (∞) 1 ep +en +cp . and the equilibrium occupancy is Nt = nt (t) = relaxes with time constant τ = 1 cn +ep +en . ˆ ˆ = ep ep +cp . we speak of minority an electron trap in a p-type semiconductor. an hole trap in a n-type semiconductor. if ep . . x > x0 .4: Minority carrier traps Again Et is close to the appropriate (: minority carrier) band edge. then at the equilibrium Figure 1. By analogy. hole for p-type one) trap when emaj emin and Et is close to the majority carrier band edge. deep states in neutral material (: depth at zero bias applied) are occupied because Et . and the equilibrium occupancy is nt = 0 ⇒ pt = Nt . the latter containing a donor-like majority carrier trap with energy level With no bias applied. the majority carrier equilibrium occupancy is equal to carrier trap for: Nt if cmaj emaj .CHAPTER 1. is nt (∞) Nt cn +ep cn +ep +en ⇒ the equilibrium value nt = Nt ˆ reached when electron capture and hole emission dominate over electron capture. The distinctive feature of minority carrier traps is that the equilibrium occupancy is established through interaction with both bands: it follows that the trap occupancy cannot be perturbed by its equilibrium value by simply acting on the majority carrier population. and the equilibrium value pt = Nt is reached when both hole capture and electron emission ˆ dominate over hole emission. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 6 a hole trap (en ep ) cp in a p-type semiconductor (cn ep < cp ⇒ nt (t) nt (∞) Nt relaxes with time constant τ = < en .3: Majority carrier traps Let's generalize: we speak of majority carrier (electron for n-type material. now only ⇒ nt (t) relaxes with time constant τ = ep ep +en +cp ⇒ the relaxation process involves the exchange of carriers with both bands.

in our case (: electron trap) the only possible process being that of electron emission ⇒ a + b = b = en .CHAPTER 1.4). but we consider them as a trap relling mean. so a + b = cmaj + emaj .6)). and the emitted electrons are rapidly swept out of the depletion region by the associated eld. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 7 Figure 1. . since we neglect the free carriers within the depletion region ar regards the space charge density.21) as the dierence xn − x1 .6: Conduction band diagram at reverse bias applied λ (Equation 3. the net space charge density during the emission process is ρ(x) = e [Nd + Nt − nt (t)]. nally we obtain the time dependent capacitance C (t) = A set that s e 1/2 2 [Nd + Nt − nt (t)]1/2 V −1/2 ≡ C (∞) 1 − nt (t) Nd + Nt 1/2 C (∞) is the steady state (since In the dilute trap concentrantion limit Nt nt (∞) = 0 within the depletion region) capacitance. then nt (t) follows a decaying law expressed by Equation (4. Nd (⇒ nt Nd ) the square root term in the above nt (t) C (∞) 2Nd equation can be expanded. if the bias applied is so large that λ xn . then we substitute in the parallel We remeber we dened the transition distance being plate expression (Equation (3. so that the change in capacitance is ∆C (t) ≡ C (t) − C (∞) ∼ − Because the initial occupancy is nt (0) = Nt . Finally nt (t) = Nt exp (−en t) and thus: ∆C (t) Nt =− exp (−en t) C (∞) 2Nd (1. the traps empty. as already underlined. For a majority carrier trap cmaj > emaj are the only not-negligible capture and emission rates. within the enlarged depletion region the capture process of electrons from the conduction band to the trap level is turned o . Figure 1. We also remember that we can express the depletion depth xn in function of the total potential across the junction (Equation (2. x1 the point in which the trap level crosses the Fermi level.5: Conduction band diagram at zero bias applied By applying suddenly a reverse bias VR .12) If the reverse bias is removed then the empty traps are relled by electron capture. we use a hybrid depletion approximation.6) for Nd → Nd + Nt − nt (t)).

1. nt (x2 ) ∼ Nt . t = 0)) ˆ also decreases with distance from x0 in the same manner as n(x). the transition in trap occupancy may be considered to occur abrutply at depth x2 ≡ x0 − λ.13) 1. is the basis of the transient capacitance techniques and the DLTS ones: according to it. while the traps within belong to the transition region below the Fermi level). the thus nally from the equilibrium trap occupancy Equation (4. for the emission rate does not depend on distance. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 8 The above equation. and for uniformly doped material the two relationships by the bias applied. i. Let's consider a Schottky barrier on n-type semiconductor.13): all the traps lled prior to the starting of the emission process. cn Figure 1. instead Since Equation (4.1 The trapped charge spatial distribution This model. and so again for Equation (4. For x < x0 .1 Rectangular transient charge model Let's briey resume the assumptions made for determining Equation (4. it is usual to consider are independent .CHAPTER 1.7). In particular.6) we desume that location where the trap level crosses the Fermi level at zero bias applied. instead of considering the distance over which the trap occupancy changes near x2 ≡ x0 −λ from the surface are never lled (they are always above the Fermi level).6) we get cn (x). since both ˆ 2 g ∼ 1. the assumption that the emission occurs all over the depletion region does not aect seriously the relationship between the transient time constant and the emission rate.2. being the degeneracy factor ˆ ˆ (x 1 cn (x2 ) = en . and ∆C0 ≡ ∆C (0) = − Nt C (∞) 2Nd (1. the latter containing an electron trap level n Et and a hole one p Et . nt (x) vary fastly with distance. nt (x. from it we will determine a bettered version for the capacitance transient. 1. and so the capture rate (Equation (4. the time constant of the capacitance transient gives the thermal emission rate. at zero applied bias.2.1) ⇒ cn (x) ∝ n(x)). the the free carrier concentration decreases with distance from x0 (since Equation (3.7: Energy band diagram for zero applied bias x > x0 it is en and so the traps are fully occupied. which states that the capacitance increases exponentially with time as carriers are emitted from the trap. we adopted the depletion approximation.7) we determine that cn (x2 ) ∼ en .7) for xn → x0 ). ntNt2 ) = 2 . Provided that LD x0 . instead it does inuence that between the transient amplitude and the deep states concentration: for trap proling experiments it is thus important to understanding the factors controlling the extent of the region over which the traps emit. is in many respects an extension to the depletion approximation. From Equation (4.e. a circumstance which cannot apply if the capture cross section is very small. of the spatial distribution of trapped charge producing the transient response in a majority carrier trap experiment. let the depletion layer edge be x0 . and those which xn − λ ≡ x1 < x < x n are never empty (they are always xn . the emission process occurs all over the depletion region.

the de- pletion region is enlarged up to again for from xn . by suitably apply Equation (3. t)]} in the steady state under reverse bias (Figure (4.2 Charge transient Drawing uniform densities. we can repeat all what said be- Figure 1. during the emission process (Figure (4.9: Trapped electron densities at zero and reverse bias applied. the dotted line shows the rectangular approximation to nt (x.8). not in the full width of the depletion region. it holds that nt (0) = Nt . we regard the transition between the two regions occuring abruptly at x1 . Figure 1. but in the overlapping of the two above regions. where the trap level fore (zero bias case) for is above the Fermi level.10: the resulting changes in provided that ρ(x. t) 1. in the steady state (i.8: x2 .10a)). In particular. x2 < x < x 1 . x < xn the free carrier con- centration decreases with distance xn (Equation (3. In conclusion. and so so the traps remain lled. b = en ⇒ nt (t) = Nt exp (−en t).e.7) implies that Energy band diagram for reverse applied bias the traps within relax by electron emission alone. Nt are constants. We remember that at zero bias applied the traps were lled for x > x2 (see Figure (4. a = 0. V (t) . in the region x < x1 .2. donor we can the charge density ρ(x. now for x1 ≡ xn − λ. and x > x1 ⇒ cn > en . we remember that at N + (xn ) is the uncompensated donor density xn .7)). dened by Equation (3. we can determine the general equation relating changes per unit time in trap occupancy . Equation (4. dis. while in the region cn < en . and also Mutatis mutan- the capture rate. t) and xn (t). we derive a relationship between Figure 1.10c)).CHAPTER 1.1. steps have already The following been seen in past occasions. space on the trapped and deep get charge for net state spatial density (Figure (4. dnt into Nd .10b)). DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 9 Now let's apply a reverse bias VR to the Schottky barrier. at the end of the lling process) with lower bias (Figure (4.22). t) = e {N + (x) + [Nt (x) − nt (x.9)).7)).

while the relative magnitude of Figure 1. The parameter tf ill aects the lling level of the traps. being the initial occupancy such that the ∆C (0) 1 x2 − x2 Nt ≡− · 1 2 2 · C (∞) 2 xn Nd In conclusion. consequently the depletion region is reduced from width the traps within W to that W ∆W ≡ W − W and are lled with majority carriers. x1 ∼ xn ⇔ λ xn . Equations (4. then equation (4.21)) in equation (4.3 Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy This technique is used to observe thermal emission from majority carrier traps by means of capacitance transients. and we get a non-linear is small compared with the net background doping xn (t). because the whole (VR Repetetive lling and reverse bias pulse sequence.14) ⇒ dVR = 0. with Nt . DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 10 the x2 < x < x 1 region. and set that x2 xn .16) We know that. the occupancy transient during the emission process is governed by nt (0) = Nt ⇒ 1 en . Nt we take dx1 = dxn (because of Nd is constant. 1. with time constant When the bias applied is so large that (1. i. we come to the following form of the capacitance to be eectively constant (for Nt transient: ∆C (t) 1 x2 − x2 nt (t) − nt (∞) ∆C (0) t =− · 1 2 2 · ≡ exp − C (∞) 2 xn Nd C (∞) τ nt (t) = Nt exp (−en t) ⇒ τ ≡ steady state one nt (∞) = 0. by integrating Equation (4. = − dC . Nd uniform.17) are exact within the depletion approximation.11: VR + Vbi . see equation (3.14).13). then When the trap density N +. by taking C Nd ).CHAPTER 1. Vf ill the probed re- gion. so we nally obtain the linear equation: Nd xn dxn x2 − x2 dnt 1 dC 1 x2 − x2 dnt 2 = 1 · ⇒ =− · 1 2 2· dt 2 dt C dt 2Nd xn dt dxn xn (1. Finally.17) Nd ) the capacitance 1 . what we have just showed is that in the dilute limit (Nt transient is exponential. for majority carrier-electron trap. so (1. x1 becomes eectively constant. set that Vbi is constant.15). and aplitude ∝ to Nt . N + ∼ Nd (under the hypothesis the sample is uncompensated).17) reduces to the simpler form (4.16) and en (4. to which corresponds the diode capacitance transient Vf ill ) Vf ill ) or only a section (VR of + Vbi ∼ + Vbi > W is thus repleted.15) Now we specify that we determine xn = C A C(∞) ⇒ dxn = − CA dC ⇔ 2 xn by measurement of the high frequency capacitance. in the former case the instrument is probably overloaded with the high zero . The negative biased test diode is pulsed (for a short time interval tf ill ) with positive tension Vf ill . to changes per unit time in depletion depth and bias: x2 (t) − x2 dnt dxn e dx1 dVR 2 N + xn = + (Nt − nt (t)) x1 (t) − 1 dt dt dt 2 dt If the reverse bias is constant so it is the transition distance equation in density (1. and λ.e.

and we consequently observe a transient capacitance: C (t) = C (∞) + ∆C0 exp − This sequence is repeated periodically. the box-car steady signal output is S(τ ) ∝ C (t1 ) − C (t2 ) = ∆C0 exp − t1 τ − exp − (1.13: Double box-car signal output As we can desume from the Equation (4. with time period measurement. Every capacitance signal. The rst gate t1 should be set so to avoid the overload recovery part of the capacitance signal.19). the temperature is slowly increased. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 11 bias capacitance. the signal .19) Figure 1. following the periodical bias pulse.12: = 0). t2 τ under the hypothesis that transients are exponential. is sampled by two gates set at times and t1 t2 from the onset of the tran- sient (t Figure 1. and observe from Figure (4.3. With a small gate width ∆t τ. which is equivalent to integrate the product of the signal and the weight function Exemplication of the principle of the two-point subtraction rate window: above the capacitance transient sampled at times t1 .1 The two-point subtraction rate window principle At the core of the DLTS technique is the principle of the two-point subtraction rate window. the trapped carriers are emitted with rate en . t τ (1. 1.13). When the bias applied is restored to the negative value val VR (for a time inter- tR ).18) during the DLTS tP ≡ tf ill + tR . below the weighting function w(t) w(t). t2 . whose im- plementation we illustrate through the use of the double box-car or standard dual-gate signal averager system.CHAPTER 1.

2 Diculties aecting DLTS experiments The DLTS rate window technique draws on the hypothesis of exponential transient decaying. the repetition time can also be short (∼ that 10ms). while this does not happen with non-exponential one. Above deep level spectrum produced by a rate window with reference time constant τref .17) Since the transient is not recorded directly. through Equation (4. the thermal emission rate at a particular trap site is dependent by the local crystal composition. 1. t2 .14: en (Tpeak ) is equal to 1 τref . from which we can generate an Arrhenius plot of ln T2 en versus 1 T . en becomes dependent the thermal emission rate is dependent upon electric eld. by recording spectra for dierent pairs of t1 . and so its value is not uniquely determined through the sample. the peak should occur at the same temperature in case of single exponential decay. and so determine the trap parameters Ena . below the correspondent point on the trap Arrhenius plot (Tpeak . but this does not occur when: Nt is not so small compared with the net doping density N +. All above mechanisms lead to broadening of DLTS spectrum. in a semiconductor alloy. not negligible only if τ ∼ t1 . so that en is eectively constant over several cycles and thus the output signal is averaged without prolonging the scan time provided τref values are not too long. the peak output is deterdS(T ) mined by the condition 0 = = dS(en ) · dT den dS(en ) den = 0 since it dT . which is reduced to den den holds dT = 0 ∀T (because of Equation (4.20) τref the reference time constant of the rate window preset t2 − t1 . τref at the beginning of the DLST measurement. t1 . S(τ ) > 0 for minority carrier ones. in fact Let's observe that Speak ≡ S(τref ) is function only of the ratio Speak ∝ ∆C0 exp − thus changing of ln β β−1 − exp − β ln β β−1 τref such that β is constant then the peak height is independent from τref . t2 values such that τref is constant. β≡ t2 t1 .3.10)).13) we can estimate the trap concentration. and the emission rate Figure 1. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 12 output is zero for Set that τ majority carrier traps. the peak temperature Tpeak is characteristic of the trap. en (Tpeak )) are measured. t1 or τ t2 . τ≡ and thus it occurs when τref ≡ for t2 − t1 ln t2 t1 (1. S(τ ) < 0 for 1 en . it is possible to work with time constants as short as a few ms. For t1 < t2 . σna . a more correct evalutation takes into account the transition distance λ (Equation (4.CHAPTER 1. By repeating the temperature scan with dierent values of sets of values τref . and then upon position within the depletion region due to the spatial variation of the electric eld. which depends only by t2 . because Speak ∝ ∆C0 . Alternative rate window methods are those employing the lock-in amplier or an exponential correlator system. .

3.21) An analogue reasoning is applicable to determine the density per unit area of holes trapped in a valence band QW. with jumps at the energies n . which can conne carriers in the direction orthogonal to the well. Let's note that for 2 2 n : we call every parabola electric sub- for 1 < E < 1 < E < 2 the allowed states are only in the lowest subband.1 A brief overview of quantum wells Single or double heterostructures can create potential wells in the conduction and/or valence bands. assuming the eective mass approximation. the product of the density of states occupation function g2D (E) and the Fermi-Dirac n2D fF D (E): ˆ ∞ m∗ m∗ = fF D (E)dE = · kT · π 2 n π 2 n ln 1 + exp n EF − kT n (1. 1. which suggests that → − ψ( R ) ∝ exp (ik · r) u(z). n = 2. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 13 Also an interfacial layer can aect a DLTS measurement. set that k ≡ (kx . which operates like the active region of a light-emitting diode or a semiconductor laser → − → − → − + V ( R ) ψ( R ) = Eψ( R ).3 DLTS & quantum wells 1. so it is lower the transverse higher subband the energy kinetic energy. in this → − special case V ( R ) = V (z).CHAPTER 1. .k ( R ) ∝ exp (ik · r) un (z).3. the energy partitioning is dierent according to subbands: in the for the motion along the z axis is higher. the total density m∗ θ (E − εn ). we also note that for the same E value. Let it be un (z) the eigenfunction corresponding to the energy eigenvalue n for the given V (z). starting at π 2 of states is a staircase-like function. y). − 2m∗ 2 2 2 r ≡ (x. the plane paralIf the potential well is very narrow the allowed energy levels of the conned electrons and holes will be quantized: the resulting structure is called a quantum well Figure 1. → − then the associated solution of the 3D original problem is ψn. the carrier wavefunction is solution of a 3D time-independent Schrodinger equation Example of N-i-P double heterostructure in direct bias. and electrons with the same total energy have dierent transverse wave vector k. As energies increase there are more and more subbands from which to choose. ≡ E − 2m∗ k2 . we remeber that the density of states of a 2D free electron gas is the step function m θ(E). it can introduce peaks into the spectrum associated with interfacial states or modifying the capacitance transient originated by traps in the semiconductor bulk.15: (QW). so each subbands contributes a step of equal height. due to a thin oxide which remains when the barrier metal is evaporated. or to other surface treatments during the diode fabrication. n : g2D (E) = π 2 n The density per unit area of electrons trapped in a conduction band QW is found as usual by integrating. u(z) is the solution of the 1D equation − 2m∗ ∂z − V (z) u(z) = u(z). Finally. leaving them free to move in the two other directions (i. Within the QW. while 2 there are allowed states in the subbands labelled by n = 1. for any set n value.e. lel to the heterojunction). the dispersion relation for a free 2D electron gas with the energy ground state shifted to band. ky ). over all energies.3. in 2 En (k) = n − 2m∗ k2 we recognize.

16: The electron wave functions (a). The localized conned state in the quantum well. Figure 1. the thermal activation energy of the emission process interpreted as the energy Eb − 1 between the conned state and the top of the barrier. and when the equilibrium is reached.2 DLTS probe of a Schottky barrier with a single quantum well DLTS is also applicable in studying the electron emission from a quantum well. located at xw below < xn ). Lz . corresponding to the energy level separation of width ε1 . the well is so reduced. may be regarded as a giant trap.3. consequently the capture rate starts falling. DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 14 Figure 1.3. The carriers density near untill the lling process is interrupted since electrons are repelled. the dispersion relation (b) and the density of states (c) in the case of innitely deep square well of width 10nm 1. the surface such that it lies within the reverse bias depletion zero bias one (xo Let's suppose to use the DLTS technique upon a Schottky barrier with a single quantum well region (xw well.17: Conduction band diagram immediately after reducing to zero the bias applied. but outside the < xw ). d is the width of the depletion regions around the QW . When the bias is reduced to zero the carriers into the vicinity are entrapped by the quantum The electron capturing bends the nearby energy bands because of the localized charge. reaching a steady state value because of the compensating thermal emission process of electrons out of the well.CHAPTER 1.

CHAPTER 1. but it is very fast and probably not detectable experimentally. and holding the approximation From ln (1 + x) ∼ x Rcapture = x 1 Remission . by remembering equation (4. What we observe is the emission of those electrons whose energy is the well ground state have similar emission rates.22) σw constant (remembering that 1 < vn >∝ T 1/2 ) we derive that a plot of Eb − 1 versus T should have slope k e ln Tw 2 . which lay under the Fermi energy level at zero bias. we determine because of 1 − EF kT . the electron capture process. Figure 1. ew = σw < vn > 2 · and assuming 2mb πkT h2 3/2 · Eb − kT 1 exp − Eb − kT 1 (1. The set that Nb = 2 2πmb kT h2 is the states density per unit volume at the total emission rate of electrons from the well per unit volume is Remission ≡ ew nw set that nw is the well occupied states density. the depletion region is emptied by the free carriers. set mass. producing a capacitance transient. assume that only the lower subband is occupied. By application of the principle of detailed balance. the factor Lz mw is the carrier eective arising from the fact that the density is per unit volume. from the barrier states (corresponding to energies above the band edge energies stay below 1 . so nb ∼ −E Nb exp − EbkT F . the electrons early entrapped into the well are emitted by thermal process and then swept out. band edge Eb . since Eb − EF 3/2 kT . then nw ∼ π mw 2L z · kT · exp EF − kT 1 . thermally emitted at reverse bias applied We note that the electrons rst emitted when the reverse bias is just applied are those whose quantized energies are greater than 1 . The total capture rate of electrons into the well Rcapture ≡ cw pw = σw < vn > nb pw set that nb is the electron density in the barriers . so pw the well ´ unoccupied states density. We E pw ∼ πmw z 1 b (1 − fF D (E)) dE ∼ 2L E−EF kT mw π 2 Lz that 1 · (Eb − E1 ). . but the Boltzmann one.18: Charges entrapped by the well. because of the energy levels are dierent. to the electron density in the barriers does not apply any more the Fermi-Dirac statistics.21). DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 15 By applying a reverse bias. must be compensated by the electron emission process. from the well The fraction of occupied and unoccupied states in the well and states to the barrier states. the emission rates are also dierent and the initial decay is not exponential. which all Eb ) to the well states (whose Eb ). per unit volume is barrier is determined by the Fermi energy level. and so the slower decay is now exponential.

wqw wqw is the width of the depletion region around the QW. as the bands bend with time. i.5).17). and QW energy ground state) follows by observing the steady state part of Figure (4. instead from a continuum ew is well dened only after as many electrons are emitted 1 . then. a constant emission rate Et .CHAPTER 1. .23) set that than nw0 if is the initial carriers density into the well. The initial steady state carrier density for distances greater is dened by the charge neutrality at large distance requirement. set that Eb − EC = [∆EC − ( 1 − w )] − (EF − we get 2 s wqw = e2Nd (Eb − EC ) 2 1 ) − (EC − EF ) ( w being the from Equation (3. There are important features which make dierence between a QW and an usual deep state: the initial density of trapped electrons is ruled by the doping density of the material around the QW . DEEP LEVELS AND DLTS 16 Finally. so that the volume in which the traps are observable is x1 + x2 ∼ 2xw . the density of free carriers near the QW reduces. by application of the depletion approximation.e. the carriers are not emitted by each trap from the trap level of states. and not by the trap density. the charge per unit area inside the QW is equal to the charge per unit area in the depleted regions around the QW⇒ nw0 Lz = 2wqw Nd . then we derive the capacitance transient equation ∆C (t) xw Lz nw0 = · · exp (−ew t) C (∞) x2 Nd n (1. by assuming that such that x1 − x2 = Lz and Lz xw . Let it be Nd the donor density in the barriers. making ew time dependent. It is not clear that all the remaining trapped electrons can be considered having energy capture cross section if variation in the band bending around the QW during emission changes the eective σw .