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Influence of AlxGa1-xN nucleation layers on MOVPE-grown zincblende GaN epilayers on 3C-SiC/Si(001)

Gundimeda, Abhiram, Rostami, Mohammadreza, Frentrup, Martin, Hinz, Alexander, Kappers, Menno J., Wallis, David J. ORCID: and Oliver, Rachel A. 2022. Influence of AlxGa1-xN nucleation layers on MOVPE-grown zincblende GaN epilayers on 3C-SiC/Si(001). Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 55 (7) , 175110. 10.1088/1361-6463/ac4c58

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The suitability of AlxGa1-xN nucleation layers with varying Al fraction x for the metal organic vapour phase epitaxy of zincblende GaN on (001) 3C-SiC was investigated, using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and x-ray diffraction. The as-grown nucleation layers exhibited elongated island structures on their surface, which reduce laterally into smaller, more equiaxed islands with increasing AlN composition. During high-temperature annealing in a mixture of NH3 and H2 the nucleation islands with low Al fraction ripened and increased in size, whereas this effect was less pronounced in samples with higher Al fraction. The compressive biaxial in-plane strain of the nucleation layers increases with increasing AlN composition up to x=0.29. GaN epilayers grown over nucleation layers that have low Al fraction have high cubic zincblende phase purity and are slightly compressively strained relative to 3C-SiC. However, those samples with a measured Al fraction in the nucleation layer higher than 0.29 were predominantly of the hexagonal wurtzite phase, due to formation of wurtzite inclusions on various {111} facets of zb-GaN, thus indicating the optimal Al composition for phase-pure zb-GaN epilayer growth.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Publisher: IOP Publishing
ISSN: 0022-3727
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 January 2022
Date of Acceptance: 18 January 2022
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 12:43

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