High-Reflectivity Al-Pt Nanostructured Ohmic Contact to p-GaN

Ho Young Kim, Birck Nanotechnology Center and Department of Physics, Purdue University
Parijat Deb, Birck Nanotechnology Center, School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University
Timothy D. Sands, Materials Engineering, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version


This document has been peer-reviewed.



The effect of nanoscale Pt islands on the electrical characteristics of contacts to p-type gallium nitride (GaN) has been investigated to explore the feasibility for the flip-chip configuration light-emitting diodes (LEDs) using an Al-based reflector. An as-deposited Al contact to p-GaN with a net hole concentration of 3 × 1017 cm−3 was rectifying. However, an Al contact with nanoscale Pt islands at the interface exhibited ohmic behavior. A specific contact resistivity of 2.1 × 10−3 Ω · cm2 and a reflectance of 84% at 460 nm were measured for the Al contact with nanoscale Pt islands. Current–voltage temperature measurements revealed a Schottky barrier height reduction from 0.80 eV for the Al contact to 0.58 eV for the Al contact with nanoscale Pt islands. The barrier height reduction may be attributed to electric field enhancement and the enhanced tunneling due to the presence of the nanoscale Pt islands. This will offer an additional silver-free option for the p-type ohmic contact in flip-chip configuration LEDs. Theory suggests that the ohmic contact characteristics may be improved further with smaller Pt islands that will enhance tunneling across the interface with the GaN and in the vicinity of the Pt–Al interface.