Depth distribution of the strain in the GaN layer with low-temperature AlN interlayer on Si(111) substrate studied by Rutherford backscattering/channeling

Lu, Y.; Cong, G. W.; Liu, X. L.; Lu, D. C.; Wang, Z. G.; Wu, M. F.
December 2004
Applied Physics Letters;12/6/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 23, p5562
Academic Journal
The depth distribution of the strain-related tetragonal distortion eT in the GaN epilayer with low-temperature AlN interlayer (LT-AlN IL) on Si(111) substrate is investigated by Rutherford backscattering and channeling. The samples with the LT-AlN IL of 8 and 16 nm thickness are studied, which are also compared with the sample without the LT-AlN IL. For the sample with 16-nm-thick LT-AlN IL, it is found that there exists a step-down of eT of about 0.1% in the strain distribution. Meanwhile, the angular scan around the normal GaN <0001> axis shows a tilt difference about 0.01° between the two parts of GaN separated by the LT-AlN IL, which means that these two GaN layers are partially decoupled by the AlN interlayer. However, for the sample with 8-nm-thick LT-AlN IL, neither step-down of eT nor the decoupling phenomenon is found. The 0.01° decoupled angle in the sample with 16-nm-thick LT-AlN IL confirms the relaxation of the LT-AlN IL. Thus the step-down of eT should result from the compressive strain compensation brought by the relaxed AlN interlayer. It is concluded that the strain compensation effect will occur only when the thickness of the LT-AlN IL is beyond a critical thickness.


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