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Influence of substrate miscut angle on surface morphology and luminescence properties of AlGaN

Kusch, Gunnar and Li, Haoning and Edwards, Paul R. and Bruckbauer, Jochen and Sadler, Thomas C. and Parbrook, Peter J. and Martin, Robert W. (2014) Influence of substrate miscut angle on surface morphology and luminescence properties of AlGaN. Applied Physics Letters, 104 (9). ISSN 0003-6951

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The influence of substrate miscut on Al0.5Ga0.5 N layers was investigated using cathodoluminescence (CL) hyperspectral imaging and secondary electron imaging in an environmental scanning electron microscope. The samples were also characterized using atomic force microscopy and high resolution X-ray diffraction. It was found that small changes in substrate miscut have a strong influence on the morphology and luminescence properties of the AlGaN layers. Two different types are resolved. For low miscut angle, a crack-free morphology consisting of randomly sized domains is observed, between which there are notable shifts in the AlGaN near band edge emission energy. For high miscut angle, a morphology with step bunches and compositional inhomogeneities along the step bunches, evidenced by an additional CL peak along the step bunches, are observed.