Direct observation of the leakage current in epitaxial diamond Schottky barrier devices by conductive-probe atomic force microscopy and Raman imaging
The origin of the high leakage current measured in several vertical-type diamond Schottky devices is conjointly investigated by conducting probe atomic force microscopy and confocal micro-Raman/photoluminescence imaging analysis. Local areas characterized by a strong decrease of the local resistance (5-6 orders of magnitude drop) with respect to their close surrounding have been identified in several different regions of the sample surface. The same local areas, also referenced as electrical hot-spots, reveal a slightly constrained diamond lattice and three dominant Raman bands in the low-wavenumber region (590, 914 and 1040 cm-1). These latter bands are usually assigned to the vibrational modes involving boron impurities and its possible complexes that can electrically act as traps for charge carriers. Local current-voltage measurements performed at the hot-spots point out a trap-filled-limited current as the main conduction mechanism favouring the leakage current in the Schottky devices.