Chemical structure of vanadium-based contact formation on n-AlN
We have investigated the chemical interaction between a Au/V/Al/V layer structure and n-type AlN epilayers using soft x-ray photoemission, x-ray emission spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. To understand the complex processes involved in this multicomponent system, we have studied the interface before and after a rapid thermal annealing step. We find the formation of a number of chemical phases at the interface, including VN, metallic vanadium, aluminum oxide, and metallic gold. An interaction mechanism for metal contact formation on the entire n-(Al,Ga)N system is proposed.