Reduction in threading dislocation densities in AlN epilayer by introducing a pulsed atomic-layer epitaxial buffer layer

Sang, L. W.; Qin, Z. X.; Fang, H.; Dai, T.; Yang, Z. J.; Shen, B.; Zhang, G. Y.; Zhang, X. P.; Xu, J.; Yu, D. P.
September 2008
Applied Physics Letters;9/22/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 12, p122104
Academic Journal
A method of reducing threading dislocation (TD) density in AlN epilayers grown on sapphire substrate is reported. By introducing an AlN buffer layer grown by a pulsed atomic-layer epitaxy method, TDs in epitaxial AlN films were greatly decreased. From transmission electron microscopic images, a clear subinterface was observed between the buffer layer and the subsequently continuous grown AlN epilayer. In the vicinity of the subinterface, the redirection, annihilation, and termination of TDs were observed. The increase in lateral growth rate accounted for TD redirection and annihilation in the AlN epilayer. Strain variation between the two regions resulted in the termination of TDs owing to the dislocation line energy minimization.


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