A polarization-induced 2D hole gas in undoped gallium nitride quantum wells

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Science  27 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6460, pp. 1454-1457
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau8623

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A hole flatland

When two distinct materials are placed on top of each other, the difference in polarization between the two layers can induce charge carriers at the interface. Many such two-dimensional (2D) electron gases have been observed, but engineering a 2D hole gas without the help of doping has been much trickier. Chaudhuri et al. used molecular beam epitaxy to grow a layer of gallium nitride on top of aluminum nitride without introducing dopants. This approach resulted in a high-density 2D hole gas at the interface in this technologically relevant system.

Science, this issue p. 1454


A high-conductivity two-dimensional (2D) hole gas, analogous to the ubiquitous 2D electron gas, is desirable in nitride semiconductors for wide-bandgap p-channel transistors. We report the observation of a polarization-induced high-density 2D hole gas in epitaxially grown gallium nitride on aluminium nitride and show that such hole gases can form without acceptor dopants. The measured high 2D hole gas densities of about 5 × 1013 per square centimeters remain unchanged down to cryogenic temperatures and allow some of the lowest p-type sheet resistances among all wide-bandgap semiconductors. The observed results provide a probe for studying the valence band structure and transport properties of wide-bandgap nitride interfaces.

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