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Investigation of wurtzite formation in MOVPE-grown zincblende GaN epilayers on AlxGa1−xN nucleation layers

Gundimeda, Abhiram, Frentrup, Martin, Fairclough, Simon M., Kappers, Menno J., Wallis, David J. ORCID: and Oliver, Rachel A. 2022. Investigation of wurtzite formation in MOVPE-grown zincblende GaN epilayers on AlxGa1−xN nucleation layers. Journal of Applied Physics 131 (11) , 115703. 10.1063/5.0077186

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The influence of AlGaN nucleation layers on zincblende GaN epilayers was studied to investigate the formation of wurtzite phase inclusions in the epilayer. GaN epilayers grown on AlGaN nucleation layers with varying aluminum contents suffer from the increasing presence of wurtzite inclusions as the aluminum content of the nucleation layer increases. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy along with four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy is used to investigate the origin of the wurtzite inclusions in the nucleation layer and at the GaN/AlGaN interface. It was observed that a GaN nucleation layer and an Al0.95Ga0.05N nucleation layer grew in the zincblende and wurtzite phase, respectively. These phases were then adopted by the overgrown GaN epilayers. For a GaN epilayer on an Al0.29Ga0.71N nucleation layer, wurtzite inclusions tend to form at the GaN/ Al0.29Ga0.71N interface due to strong {111}-type faceting observed in the zincblende nucleation layer. This strong faceting is correlated with an enrichment of aluminum in the upper part of the nucleation layer, as observed in energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, which may influence the kinetics or thermodynamics controlling the surface morphology

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
ISSN: 0021-8979
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 May 2022
Date of Acceptance: 21 February 2022
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 21:40

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