Ostwald ripening and flattening of epitaxial ZnO layers during in situ annealing in metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy

Krost, A.; Christen, J.; Oleynik, N.; Dadgar, A.; Deiter, S.; Bläsing, J.; Krtschil, A.; Forster, D.; Bertram, F.; Diez, A.
August 2004
Applied Physics Letters;8/30/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 9, p1496
Academic Journal
ZnO films were grown at 450°C by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy on GaN/Si(111) substrate and subsequently annealed in situ at 900°C for times ranging from 0 to 8 min. The epitaxial layers were characterized by atomic force microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and cathodoluminescence measurements. The as-grown ZnO layers consist of three-dimensional nanoscale-sized clusters of [0001]-oriented monocrystallites. During the first 1 min of annealing, a surface smoothening due to a redistribution of material is observed leading to a decrease of both the island numbers and their heights. After 2 min of annealing, the surface morphology has completely changed and is transformed into a nearly two-dimensional cluster-free surface. This phase transition is accompanied by a strong improvement of the crystalline and optical properties. The effect is attributed to Ostwald ripening with a subsequent flattening of the crystal surface.


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