Optimization of Ohmic Contacts to p-GaAs Nanowires

Marcelo Rizzo Piton, Teemu Hakkarainen, Joonas Hilska, Eero Koivusalo, Donald Lupo, Helder Vinicius Avanco Galeti, Yara Galvao Gobato, Mircea Guina

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The performance of Ohmic contacts applied to semiconductor nanowires (NWs) is an important aspect for enabling their use in electronic or optoelectronic devices. Due to the small dimensions and specific surface orientation of NWs, the standard processing technology widely developed for planar heterostructures cannot be directly applied. Here, we report on the fabrication and optimization of Pt/Ti/Pt/Au Ohmic contacts for p-type GaAs nanowires grown by molecular beam epitaxy. The devices were characterized by current-voltage (IV) measurements. The linearity of the IV characteristics curves of individual nanowires was optimized by adjusting the layout of the contact metal layers, the surface treatment prior to metal evaporation, and post-processing thermal annealing. Our results reveal that the contact resistance is remarkably decreased when a Pt layer is deposited on the GaAs nanowire prior to the traditional Ti/Pt/Au multilayer layout used for p-type planar GaAs. These findings are explained by an improved quality of the metal-GaAs interface, which was evidenced by grazing incidence X-ray diffraction measurements in similar metallic thin films deposited on GaAs (110) substrates. In particular, we show that Ti exhibits low degree of crystallinity when deposited on GaAs (110) surface which directly affects the contact resistance of the NW devices. The deposition of a thin Pt layer on the NWs prior to Ti/Pt/Au results in a 95% decrease in the total electrical resistance of Be-doped GaAs NWs which is associated to the higher degree of crystallinity of Pt than Ti when deposited directly on GaAs (110).

Original languageEnglish
Article number344
Number of pages7
JournalNanoscale Research Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Nanowires
  • GaAs
  • p-type doping
  • Ohmic contacts

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