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Taming transport in InN



The large electron affinity of InN, close to 6 eV and the largest of any III–V semiconductor, creates a strong driving force for native donor formation, both in the bulk and at surfaces and interfaces. Moreover, all InN surfaces, regardless of crystal orientation or doping, have been observed to have a surface accumulation layer of electrons, which interferes with standard electrical measurements. For these reasons, until recently, it was uncertain whether or not compensation by donor defects would prevent “real” p-type activity (i.e., existence of sufficiently shallow acceptors and mobile holes). A coordinated experimental approach using a combination of electrical (Hall effect) and electrothermal (Seebeck coefficient) measurements will be described that allows definitive evaluation of carrier transport in InN. In Mg-doped InN films, the sensitivity of thermopower to bulk hole conduction, combined with modeling of the parallel conducting layers (surface/bulk/interface), enables quantitative measurement of the free hole concentration and mobility. In undoped (n-type) material, combined Hall and thermopower measurements, along with a considering of the scattering mechanisms, leads to a quantitative understanding of the crucial role of charged line defects in limiting electron transport.