A small indium flux was used as a surfactant during the growth of gallium nitride by rf-plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. The effects of the In surfactant on the optical and structural properties of undoped GaN were studied by photoluminescence (PL), X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS). PL studies show that the use of In surfactant is beneficial to the reduction of deep-level defects. The X-ray rocking curves demonstrate a 20% decrease in the full width at half maximum value for the films grown with In surfactant. AFM studies show that the root mean squared surface roughness for films grown with and without In surfactant are 5.86 and 6.99 nm respectively indicating significant improvement in surface morphology. The improved surface morphology is attributed to the enhanced 2-dimensional growth promoted by the application of In surfactant. RBS studies show that the χmin values along [0 0 0 1] direction are 2.06% and 2.16% for the samples grown with and without In surfactant respectively. Off-normal ion channeling studies were performed to further investigate the effects of In surfactant on the crystallinity. It is found that the number density of stacking faults is smaller for the sample grown with In surfactant compared to the one grown without In surfactant. However, defect analysis shows that dislocations are found in the sample grown with In surfactant in contrary to the one grown without In surfactant. We speculate that there is a thickness limit of GaN grown with In surfactant and the thickness of our samples exceed this limit, leading to the presence of dislocation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering