The growth of high-quality GaN by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) is challenging, in part due to the constraint of heteroepitaxy since GaN substrates are not yet commercially available and isotropic nature of growth. Despite the large lattice and thermal mismatch between sapphire and GaN, the former is still the most commonly used substrate for the GaN-based optical devices at present. In this paper, we demonstrate a re-growth technique to obtain an improved quality GaN by MBE on GaN template on sapphire where the grossly defective regions have been removed. This GaN template is formed by MBE growth of GaN followed by wet chemical etching to selectively remove the defective region. Improved quality GaN was re-grown on such a template under Ga rich conditions to a thickness of about 1 micron. After re-growth, the surface of GaN is atomically smooth with spiral features in the short range. The low temperature PL of the re-grown GaN is superior to those of MBE GaN films directly on sapphire. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images reveal a two-dimensional re-growth initiating in regions free of extended defects. The results show that the selectively etched GaN on sapphire can be used as a good template to improve the quality of GaN.
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This work was supported by grants from ONR (Drs. C., E. C. Wood and Y. S. Park), AFOSR (Drs. G. L. Witt and T. Steiner),), and NSF (Drs U. Varshney, and L. Hess).
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He, L., Gu, X., Xie, J. et al. GaN layers re-grown on etched GaN templates by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. MRS Online Proceedings Library 798, 205–208 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-798-Y10.64