A systematic study of the growth and doping of GaN, AlGaN, and InGaN by both molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) has been performed. Critical differences between the resulting epitaxy are observed in the p-type doping using magnesium as the acceptor species. MBE growth, using rf-plasma sources to generate the active nitrogen species for growth, has been used for III-Nitride compounds doped either n-type with silicon or p-type with magnesium. Blue and violet light emitting diode (LED) test structures were fabricated. These vertical devices required a relatively high forward current and exhibited high leakage currents. This behavior was attributed to parallel shorting mechanisms along the dislocations in MBE grown layers. For comparison, similar devices were fabricated using a single wafer vertical flow MOVPE reactor and ammonia as the active nitrogen species. MOVPE grown blue LEDs exhibited excellent forward device characteristics and a high reverse breakdown voltage. We feel that the excess hydrogen, which is present on the GaN surface due to the dissociation of ammonia in MOVPE, acts to passivate the dislocations and eliminate parallel shorting for vertical device structures. These findings support the widespread acceptance of MOVPE, rather than MBE, as the epitaxial growth technique of choice for III-V nitride materials used in vertical transport bipolar devices for optoelectronic applications.
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Johnson, M.A.L., Yu, Z., Brown, J.D. et al. A Critical Comparison Between Movpe and MBE Growth of III-V Nitride Semiconductor Materials for Opto-Electronic Device Applications. MRS Online Proceedings Library 537, 510 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-537-G5.10