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Relaxation of compressively strained AlInN on GaN

Lorenz, K. and Franco, N. and Alves, E. and Pereira, S. and Watson, I.M. and Martin, R.W. and O'Donnell, K.P. (2008) Relaxation of compressively strained AlInN on GaN. Journal of Crystal Growth, 310 (18). pp. 4058-4064. ISSN 0022-0248

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Abstract

Epitaxial layers of wurtzite-phase Al1−xInxN, 120 nm thick with (0 0 0 1) orientation, were grown by metal organic chemical vapour deposition on GaN buffer layers at setpoint temperatures between 760 and 840 °C. For growth temperatures 800 °C, the AlInN layers grew with uniform composition, pseudomorphic with the underlying GaN buffer layer. In the temperature range studied, the InN fractions are a linear function of the setpoint temperature and straddle the near-lattice-match composition around Al0.83In0.17N. Lowering the growth temperature to 760 °C caused a compositional grading, a marked change in surface morphology, and a reduction in AlInN crystal quality. The resulting AlInN layer consists of a compressively strained interfacial layer with a composition of Al0.76In0.24N, and a mostly relaxed near-surface layer with a composition of Al0.81In0.19N. Atomic force microscopy suggests that a transition to a three-dimensional growth mode accompanies the structural relaxation and change in composition.