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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fermi level stabilization energy in cadmium oxide


We have studied the effects of high concentrations of native point defects on the electrical and optical properties of CdO. The defects were introduced by irradiation with high energy He+, Ne+, Ar+ and C+ ions. Increasing the irradiation damage with particles heavier than He+ increases the electron concentration until a saturation level of 5x1020 cm-3 is reached. In contrast, due to the ionic character and hence strong dynamic annealing of CdO, irradiation with much lighter He+ stabilizes the electron concentration at a much lower level of 1.7x1020 cm-3. A large shift of the optical absorption edge with increasing electron concentration in irradiated samples is explained by the Burstein-Moss shift corrected for electron-electron and electron-ion interactions. The saturation of the electron concentration and the optical absorption edge energy are consistent with a defect induced stabilization of the Fermi energy at 1 eV above the conduction band edge. The result is in a good agreement with previously determined Fermi level pinning energies on CdO surfaces. The results indicate that CdO shares many similarities with InN, as both materials exhibit extremely large electron affinities and an unprecedented propensity for n-type conductivity.

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