Using a combination of deep level transient spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry, proton irradiation, and hybrid functional calculations, we identify two similar deep levels that are associated with Fe impurities and intrinsic defects in bulk crystals and molecular beam epitaxy and hydride vapor phase epitaxi-grown epilayers of β-Ga2O3. First, our results indicate that FeGa, and not an intrinsic defect, acts as the deep acceptor responsible for the often dominating E2 level at ∼0.78 eV below the conduction band minimum. Second, by provoking additional intrinsic defect generation via proton irradiation, we identified the emergence of a new level, labeled as E2*, having the ionization energy very close to that of E2, but exhibiting an order of magnitude larger capture cross section. Importantly, the properties of E2* are found to be consistent with its intrinsic origin. As such, contradictory opinions of a long standing literature debate on either extrinsic or intrinsic origin of the deep acceptor in question converge accounting for possible contributions from E2 and E2* in different experimental conditions.
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