Stress and its effect on optical properties of GaN epilayers grown on Si(111), 6H-SiC(0001), and c-plane sapphire

Zhao, D. G.; Xu, S. J.; Xie, M. H.; Tong, S. Y.; Yang, Hui
July 2003
Applied Physics Letters;7/28/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 4, p677
Academic Journal
The stress states in unintentionally doped GaN epilayers grown on Si(111), 6H-SiC(0001), and c-plane sapphire, and their effects on optical properties of GaN films were investigated by means of room-temperature confocal micro-Raman scattering and photoluminescence techniques. Relatively large tensile stress exists in GaN epilayers grown on Si and 6H-SiC while a small compressive stress appears in the film grown on sapphire. The latter indicates effective strain relaxation in the GaN buffer layer inserted in the GaN/sapphire sample, while the 50-nm-thick AlN buffer adopted in the GaN/Si sample remains highly strained. The analysis shows that the thermal mismatch between the epilayers and the substrates plays a major role in determining the residual strain in the films. Finally, a linear coefficient of 21.1±3.2 meV/GPa characterizing the relationship between the luminescent bandgap and the biaxial stress of the GaN films is obtained.


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