The oxidation of GaN epilayers in dry oxygen has been studied. The 1-μm-thick GaN epilayers grown on (0001) sapphire substrates by Rapid-Thermal-Processing/Low Pressure Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition were used in this work. The oxidation of GaN in dry oxygen was performed at various temperatures for different time. The oxide was identified as the monoclinic β-Ga2O3 by a θ-2θ scan X-ray diffraction (XRD). The scanning electron microscope observation shows a rough oxide surface and an expansion of the volume. XRD data also showed that the oxidation of GaN began to occur at 800°C. The GaN diffraction peaks disappeared at 1050°C for 4 h or at 1100°C for 1 h, which indicates that the GaN epilayers has been completely oxidized. From these results, it was found that the oxidation of GaN in dry oxygen was not layer-by-layer and limited by the interfacial reaction and diffusion mechanism at different temperatures.
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Chen, P., Zhang, R., Xu, X.F. et al. Oxidation of Gallium Nitride Epilayers in Dry Oxygen. MRS Online Proceedings Library 595, 1171 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-595-F99W11.71