The band structure of germanium changes significantly when alloyed with a few percent concentrations of tin, and while much work has been done to characterize and exploit these changes, the corresponding deep-level defect characteristics are largely unknown. In this paper, we investigate the dominant deep-level defects created by 2 MeV proton irradiation in Ge1 -xSnx (x = 0.0, 0.020, 0.053, 0.069, and 0.094) diodes and determine how the ionization energies of these defects change with tin concentrations. Deep-level transient spectroscopy measurements approximate the ionization energies associated with electron transitions to/from the valence band (hole traps) and conduction band (electron traps) in the intrinsic regions of p-i-n diode test structures. The prominent deep-level hole traps may be associated with divacancies, vacancy-tin complexes, and vacancy-phosphorous complexes (V2, V-Sn, and V-P, respectively), with the presumed V-P hole trap dominating after room temperature annealing. The ionization energy level of this trap (approximated by the apparent activation energy for hole emission) is close to the intrinsic Fermi level in the 0% and 2% Sn devices and decreases as the tin concentration is increased, maintaining an approximately fixed energy spacing below the indirect conduction band edge. The other hole traps follow this same trend, and the dominant electron trap ionization energies remain roughly constant with changes in tin concentrations, indicating they are likewise pinned to the conduction band edge. These results suggest a pattern that may, in many cases, apply more generally to deep-level defects in these alloys, including those present in the "as-grown" materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)