The mechanisms controlling the carrier mobility of two-dimensional electron gases (2DEGs) in ultrathin polar semiconductor heterostructures, such as III–V nitrides, have been analyzed. InxAl1−xN/AlN/GaN heterostructures with different AlN layer thicknesses have been investigated. These structures can be considered a very good benchmark for the analyses of III–V nitrides, due to the possibility of modulating the strain by varying the In composition. In order to determine an estimate of the mobility, charged dislocation and remote surface roughness scattering lifetimes have been calculated. Atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy analyses have been used to measure the parameters required for the lifetime calculation, such as surface roughness, correlation length and dislocation density, and the total mobility has thus been calculated without the need of any a priori assumptions on the values of these parameters. The mobility of InxAl1−xN/AlN/GaN heterostructures has been measured at room temperature and liquid nitrogen temperature by the Hall effect. A comparison between the calculated and the Hall-effect-measured mobilities allowed us to establish, without using any ad hoc assumptions or fitting parameters, that the remote surface roughness is the most effective factor in controlling the transport properties of 2DEGs in nitride-based heterostructures at low temperature.
- Surface roughness;
- Hall mobility;