Polarization-Induced Hole Doping in Wide–Band-Gap Uniaxial Semiconductor Heterostructures

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Science  01 Jan 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5961, pp. 60-64
DOI: 10.1126/science.1183226

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Impurity-based p-type doping in wide–band-gap semiconductors is inefficient at room temperature for applications such as lasers because the positive-charge carriers (holes) have a large thermal activation energy. We demonstrate high-efficiency p-type doping by ionizing acceptor dopants using the built-in electronic polarization in bulk uniaxial semiconductor crystals. Because the mobile hole gases are field-ionized, they are robust to thermal freezeout effects and lead to major improvements in p-type electrical conductivity. The new doping technique results in improved optical emission efficiency in prototype ultraviolet light-emitting–diode structures. Polarization-induced doping provides an attractive solution to both p- and n-type doping problems in wide–band-gap semiconductors and offers an unconventional path for the development of solid-state deep-ultraviolet optoelectronic devices and wide–band-gap bipolar electronic devices of the future.

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