Low-energy ion-induced breakdown and single-event burnout (SEB) are experimentally observed in beta-gallium oxide ( β -Ga2O3) Schottky diodes with voltages well below those of expected electrical breakdown. Fundamentally different responses were observed among alpha particle, Cf-252, and heavy-ion irradiation. Technology computer-aided design (TCAD) simulations suggest that ion-induced burnout can be triggered at high voltages as a result of a single ion strike, leading to impact ionization, voltage-induced charge separation accentuated by the low intrinsic hole mobility in β -Ga2O3, and breakdown. At significantly lower voltages, the cumulative buildup of displacement-damage-induced defects in β -Ga2O3 during high-fluence ion irradiation can lead to defect-driven breakdown due to the generation and motion of negatively charged Ga vacancies and O interstitials. First-principles calculations show that defect clusters can be formed, which are much less resistive than the surrounding material. These clusters can be driven deeply into the device by the reverse bias, ultimately forming conduction paths that can facilitate the destruction of the device at reduced voltages.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering