Compositional dependence of phase separation in InGaN layers

Rao, M.; Kim, D.; Mahajan, S.
September 2004
Applied Physics Letters;9/13/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 11, p1961
Academic Journal
Phase separation in InGaN layers grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition on GaN epilayers was investigated using transmission electron microscopy. Layer thicknesses of 220 and 660 nm were deposited with InN fractions ranging from 3% to 34%. At InN contents of 3%, plan-view TEM images show a homogeneous microstructure and selected area diffraction (SAD) patterns exhibit no evidence of satellite spots. InN contents of 12% result in a speckled contrast. Satellites close to the fundamental spots belonging to the wurtzite structure are present in SAD patterns and they are indicative of composition modulations lying in the (0001) growth plane. No satellites are observed along the [0001] direction, implying that phase separation is two-dimensional in nature. Samples containing InN fractions of between 22% and 28% have microstructures exhibiting much stronger contrast variations. Satellite spots in SAD patterns are further spaced from the fundamental reflections. This trend continues on increasing InN content to 34%. In addition, cross-sectional TEM images show an absence of contrast from InGaN layers with InN contents above 12%, in the vicinity of the InGaN/GaN interface, indicating that coherency strain inhibits phase separation. Arguments are developed to rationalize these observations.


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