Gallium Nitride Epitaxy on Silicon: Importance of Substrate Preparation


Hexagonal GaN films grown on non-isomorphic substrates are usually characterized by numerous threading defects which are essentially boundaries between wurtzite GaN domains where the stacking sequences do not align. One origin of these defects is irregularities on the substrate surface such as surface steps. Using Si <111> substrates and a substrate preparation procedure that makes wide atomically flat terraces, we demonstrate that reduction of these irregularities greatly improves the crystalline and luminescent quality of GaN films grown by plasma-enhanced molecular beam epitaxy. X-ray rocking curve width decreases from over 1 degree to less than 20 minutes, while PL halfwidth decreases from over 15 meV to less than 10 meV.

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Correspondence to G. A. Martin.

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Martin, G., Sverdlov, B., Botchkarev, A. et al. Gallium Nitride Epitaxy on Silicon: Importance of Substrate Preparation. MRS Online Proceedings Library 395, 67–72 (1995).

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