Puzzling robust 2D metallic conductivity in undoped β-Ga <inf>2</inf> O <inf>3</inf> thin films
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Materials Today Physics, 2019, 8 pp. 10 - 17
- Issue Date:
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Here, we report the analogy of an extremely stable topological-like ultra-wide bandgap insulator, a solid that is a pure insulator in its bulk but has a metallic conductive surface, presenting a two-dimensional conductive channel at its surface that challenges our current thinking about semiconductor conductivity engineering. Nominally undoped epitaxial β-Ga 2 O 3 thin films without any detectable defect (after a range of state-of-the-art techniques) showed the unexpectedly low resistivity of 3 × 10 −2 Ωcm which was found to be also resistant to high dose proton irradiation (2 MeV, 5 × 10 15 cm −2 dose) and was largely invariant (metallic) over the phenomenal temperature range of 2 K up to 850 K. The unique resilience and stability of the electrical properties under thermal and highly ionizing radiation stressing, combined with the extended transparency range (thanks to the ultra-wide bandgap) and the already known toughness under high electrical field could open up new perspectives for use as expanded spectral range transparent electrodes (e.g., for UV harvesting solar cells or UV LEDs/lasers) and robust Ohmic contacts for use in extreme environments/applications and for novel optoelectronic and power device concepts.
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