Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Prof Özgür, Ümit

Second Advisor

Prof. Morkoç, Hadis

Third Advisor

Prof. Avrutin, Vitaliy

Fourth Advisor

Prof. Reshchikov, Michael

Fifth Advisor

Prof. Demchenko, Denis

Sixth Advisor

Prof. Baski, Alison


This thesis reports a comprehensive study of quaternary BeMgZnO alloy and BeMgZnO/ZnO heterostructures for UV-optoelectronics electronic applications. It was shown that by tuning Be and Mg contents in the heterostructures, high carrier densities of two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) are achievable and makes its use possible for high power RF applications. Additionally, optical bandgaps as high as 5.1 eV were achieved for single crystal wurtzite material which allows the use of the alloy for solar blind optoelectronics (Eg>4.5eV) or intersubband devices.

A systematic experimental and theoretical study of lattice parameters and bandgaps of quaternary BeMgZnO alloy was performed for the whole range of compositions. Composition independent bowing parameters were determined which allows accurate predictions of experimentally measured values.

The BeMgZnO thin films were grown by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy (P-MBE) in a wide range of compositions. The optimization of the growth conditions and its effects on the material properties were explored. The surface morphology and electrical characteristics of the films grown on (0001) sapphire were found to critically depend on the metal-to-oxygen ratio. Samples grown under slightly oxygen-rich conditions exhibited the lowest RMS surface roughness (as low as 0.5 nm). Additionally, the films grown under oxygen-rich conditions were semi-insulating (>105 Ω∙cm), while the films grown under metal-rich conditions were semiconducting (~102 Ω∙cm). Additionally, with increasing bandgap Stokes shift increases, reaching ~0.5 eV for the films with 4.6 eV absorption edge suggests the presence of band tail states introduced by potential fluctuations and alloying.

From spectrally resolved PL transients, BeMgZnO films grown on a GaN/sapphire template having higher Mg/Be content ratio exhibit smaller localization depth and brighter photoluminescence at low temperatures. The optimum content ratio for better room temperature optical performance was found to be ~2.5.

The BeMgZnO material system and heterostructures are promising candidates for the device fabrication. 2DEG densities of MgZnO/ZnO heterostructures were shown to improve significantly (above 1013 cm-2) by adding even a small amount of Be (1-5%). As an essential step toward device fabrication, reliable ohmic contacts to ZnO were established with remarkably low specific contact resistivities below 10-6 Ohm-cm2 for films with 1018 cm-3 carrier density.


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