BETA-GA2O3: A TRANSPARENT CONDUCTIVE OXIDE FOR POTENTIAL RESISTIVE SWITCHING APPLICATIONS
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My primary research focus is controlling conductivity in Ga2O3, with the broader goal of seeking both new materials science and possible applications. Regarding new materials science, the key goal is to elucidate connections between defects and conductivity in β- Ga2O3, then, based on an understanding of the conduction mechanism of Ga2O3, determine and evaluate the potential of β-Ga2O3 as a resistive switching (RS) material. To systematically investigate the feasibility of Ga2O3 in memristor applications, several aspects was examined. One of the first questions to be answered is how defects play a role in the conductivity of Ga2O3. To establish connections between conductivity and defects, a direct approach is to investigate the connections between the local structure and the concomitant electronic responses, paying particular attention to the role of both intrinsic and extrinsic defects. The approach I used was to compare the directional and thermal dependence of the conductivity induced through annealing in various environments (i.e., intentionally changing the intrinsic and extrinsic defect concentrations), and elucidate the roles of dimensionality and sample processing in controlling these processes through a comparison of the bulk. Such a strategy involves careful characterization of both the atomic and electronic structure at both nanoscopic and macroscopic length scales. Although various calculations has predicted conductivity is independent from oxygen vacancy, no experimental work is reported as supports to theoretical studies due to the hardness to dissociate oxygen vacancy increase from other defect changes, such as Hydrogen interstitial increase, surface band bending reduction from surface population of charged vacancies, metal contact to Ga2O3 interface changes, etc . We intentionally inject and/or remove oxygen defects through annealing in oxidizing and reducing atmospheres. The effects of such annealing treatments were investigated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and a physical property measurement system (PPMS) to determine chemical and electronic structure, surface characteristics, and transport properties, respectively. Next, we want to determine the most efficient way to induce a defect concentration change. Electrical field-induced redox reactions and thermal power-induced defect migration are two major driving forces of current RS materials. In this case, I employed two approaches when annealing samples: applying a direct current to the sample, which subjects the material to both an electric field and an elevated temperature, and thermally heating the sample using a resistive heating block. The contribution of contact to Ga2O3 interfaces are also intensively investigated, opposed to in single crystal study, experiments were designed to avoid contact uncertainties. Changes in the conductivity were subsequently examined by electrical measurements. By seeking answers to the above questions, we found evidences to defect agglomerations, likely Ga vacancies, in single crystal Ga2O3 and determined its potentials to be controlled thermally and electrically. As a result, we can switch bulk single crystal Ga2O3 between high conductivity and low conductivity states. To realize this resistive switching behavior in a device, a set of experiments to synthesize Ga2O3 films with desired properties and optimize both the device geometry and contact conditions was conducted. A subsequent investigation into device performance and analyses of the structural and interfacial characteristics of the devices was performed. Thus, this thesis aims to answer three major questions, two of which relate to the intrinsic properties of Ga2O3 and one that is associated with device fabrication and characterization. In this report, common "to understand" and "to utilize" strategies were followed to address Ga2O3 resistive switching in two parts: Ga2O3 material investigation and Ga2O3 resistive switching applications.