Electroluminescence in epitaxial thin film ZnS and ZnSe
The application of the metalorganic chemical vapour deposition technique to the production of II-VI compound semiconductor electroluminescent devices is discussed. Both low field MIS minority carrier injection devices and high field impact excitation structures are considered, and comparisons are drawn with more commiercially orientated electroluminescent displays. The epitaxial growth of ZnS and ZnSe onto (100) orientated GaAs substrates, using the reactions between dimethyl zinc and the hydrides HgS and H2Se, is described. Details are given of a novel epitaxial MISi device processing technology, in which a ZnS I-layer also acts as an etch-stop, thus enabling chemical removal of the GaAs substrate. Metal electrodes deposited directly onto the ZnS and ZnSe allow the electrical and electroluminescent characteristics of these epitaxial II-VI compound layers to be investigated in the absence of any influence from the substrate material. X-ray diffraction and reflection high energy electron dififraction confirm that the structures are epitaxial and of excellent crystallinity. It is demonstrated in an electron beam induced current study that conduction in the epitaxial MIS devices is highly uniform, and this is manifested in a uniform spatial distribution of electroluminescence. A description is given of high field impact excitation electroluminescent devices, in which the ZnS layer is doped with manganese during MOCVD growth. The spatial distribution of EL in these devices is shown to be non-uniform, and thus indicative of filamentary conduction in the ZnS:Mn, in accordance with a recently proposed dielectric breakdown model of instability. It is demonstrated that the transient characteristics of the epitaxial structures correlate with those of commercial polycrystalline devices, and are also consistent with the predictions of a dynamic model of instability. As a result of filamentary conduction, both epitaxial and polycrystalline devices are prone to degradation through localised dielectric breakdown. These breakdown events generally result in a gradual erosion of the active electrode area, although, under certain operating conditions, mobile filaments can cause rapid destruction of epitaxial structures. The columnar microstructure of sputtered devices appears to prevent such filament mobility, and it is concluded that, although filamentary conduction is a result of the carrier injection mechanism and is independent of the crystallinity, the associated damage is strongly influenced by the microstructure of the device.