Defect spectroscopy on the dielectric material aluminum oxide

A method for defect characterization is presented that allows to measure the activation energy, capture cross-section, and defect density in dielectric materials. This is exemplarily performed on aluminum oxide thin films deposited on hydrogen-terminated diamond. During the measurement, samples were illuminated using a 405 nm laser, charging the defects while simultaneously measuring the surface conductivity of the diamond at different temperatures. By applying the standard boxcar evaluation known from deep-level transient spectroscopy, we found five different defect levels in Al₂O₃. One can be identified as substitutional silicon in aluminum oxide, while the others are most likely connected to either aluminum interstitials or carbon and nitrogen impurities.


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