Nanostructured GaN Nucleation Layer for Light-Emitting Diodes
This paper addresses the formation of nanostructured gallium nitride nucleation (NL) or initial layer (IL), which is necessary to obtain a smooth surface morphology and reduce defects in h-GaN layers for light-emitting diodes and lasers. From detailed X-ray and HR-TEM studies, researchers determined that this layer consists of nanostructured grains with average grain size of 25 nm, which are separated by small-angle grain boundaries (with misorientation ∼1°), known as subgrain boundaries. Thus NL is considered to be single-crystal layer with mosaicity of about 1°. These nc grains are mostly faulted cubic GaN (c-GaN) and a small fraction of unfaulted c-GaN. This unfaulted Zinc-blende c-GaN, which is considered a nonequilibrium phase, often appears as embedded or occluded within the faulted c-GaN. The NL layer contained in-plane tensile strain, presumably arising from defects due to island coalescence during Volmer-Weber growth. The 10L X-ray scans showed c-GaN fraction to be over 63% and the rest h-GaN. The NL layer grows epitaxially with the (0001) sapphire substrate by domain matching epitaxy, and this epitaxial relationship is remarkably maintained when c-GaN converts into h-GaN during high-temperature growth.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-08-01
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