Control of the polarity of molecular-beam-epitaxy-grown GaN thin films by the surface nitridation of Al[sub 2]O[sub 3] (0001) substrates

Mikroulis, S.; Georgakilas, A.; Kostopoulos, A.; Cimalla, V.; Dimakis, E.; Komninou, Ph.
April 2002
Applied Physics Letters;4/22/2002, Vol. 80 Issue 16, p2886
Academic Journal
The nitridation of Al[sub 2]O[sub 3] (0001) substrate surfaces by radio-frequency nitrogen plasma has been investigated. A 1.5-nm-thick surface nitride layer occurred for 100 min nitridation at high substrate temperature, while the nitridation appeared to be limited to a surface atomic plane at low temperature. In-plane lattice constant relaxation was observed in both cases. A high nitridation temperature resulted into a Ga face and a low temperature to N-face polarity of overgrown GaN films. However, low temperature nitridation and an AlN buffer layer also produced a Ga-face polarity. The results are consistent with low formation energy of AlN/sapphire films with Ga-face polarity. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.


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