Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Applied Physics





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

November 2015


We studied the persistent photoconductivity (PPC) effect in AlxGa1−xN∕AlN∕GaN heterostructures with two different Al compositions (x=0.15and x=0.25). The two-dimensional electron gas formed at the AlN∕GaN heterointerface was characterized by Shubnikov-de Haas and Hall measurements. Using optical illumination, we were able to increase the carrier density of the Al0.15Ga0.85N∕AlN∕GaN sample from 1.6×1012 to 5.9×1012cm−2, while the electron mobility was enhanced from 9540 to 21400cm2/Vs at T=1.6K. The persistent photocurrent in both samples exhibited a strong dependence on illumination wavelength, being highest close to the band gap and decreasing at longer wavelengths. The PPC effect became fairly weak for illumination wavelengths longer than ∼530nm and showed a more complex response with an initial negative photoconductivity in the infrared region of the spectrum (λ>700nm). The maximum PPC efficiency for 390nm illumination was 0.011% and 0.005% for Al0.25Ga0.75N∕AlN∕GaN and Al0.15Ga0.85N∕AlN∕GaN samples, respectively. After illumination, the carrier density could be reduced by annealing the sample. Annealing characteristics of the PPC effect were studied in the 20–280K temperature range. We found that annealing at 280K was not sufficient for full recovery of the carrier density. In fact, the PPC effect occurs in these samples even at room temperature. Comparing the measurement results of two samples, the Al0.25Ga0.75N∕AlN∕GaN sample had a larger response to illumination and displayed a smaller recovery with thermal annealing. This result suggests that the energy scales of the defect configuration-coordinate diagrams for these samples are different, depending on their Al composition.


Biyikli, N., Ozgur, U., & Ni, X., et al. Illumination and annealing characteristics of two-dimensional electron gas systems in metal-organic vapor-phase epitaxy grown AlxGa1-xN/AlN/GaN heterostructures. Journal of Applied Physics, 100, 103702 (2006). Copyright © 2006 American Institute of Physics.

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