High temperature growth of AlN by plasma-enhanced molecular beam epitaxy

Z. Y. Fan, G. Rong, J. Browning, Nathan Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AlN(0001) films have been grown by plasma-enhanced molecular beam epitaxy on sapphire(0001) surfaces utilizing monoenergetic activated-nitrogen beams at elevated substrate temperatures (900-1300 °C). AlN films synthesized under stoichiometric conditions, with ECR microwave powers of less than 100 W, substrate temperatures of 925-1150 °C and a low temperature buffer layer exhibit narrow X-ray diffraction rocking curve widths [6 arcmin, AlN(0002)]. Smooth surface morphologies with typical RMS surface roughness of approximately 15 angstroms are found for approximately 1 μm AlN growth when the lower range of substrate temperatures are used. The φ-scan of the AlN(101̄3) X-ray Bragg reflection has six-fold symmetry with peak widths of 1.6°, indicating that the highest quality films are aligned, albeit with small angle grain boundaries in the a-b plane. Lattice constants of 3.079 angstroms (a) and 5.036 angstroms (c) are inferred from the X-ray diffraction data, indicating a bi-axial compressive strain of 1.03% in the a-b plane. Even smoother surfaces with an RMS roughness approximately 6 angstroms can be produced if pre-growth surface nitridation is eliminated. In that case, degradation in the AlN thin-film crystal quality is found, as judged by the 24 arcmin rocking curve widths. The influence of growth conditions (i.e. substrate temperature, ratio of activated-nitrogen to Al flux, ion kinetic energy, pre-growth sapphire nitridation and the properties of the buffer layer) on the resulting crystal quality and surface morphology are directly addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering B: Solid-State Materials for Advanced Technology
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 8 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Growth temperature
Molecular beam epitaxy
molecular beam epitaxy
Plasmas
Nitridation
Aluminum Oxide
Substrates
Buffer layers
Sapphire
Surface morphology
sapphire
Nitrogen
Temperature
buffers
Surface roughness
nitrogen
X ray diffraction
Crystals
temperature ratio
x rays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

High temperature growth of AlN by plasma-enhanced molecular beam epitaxy. / Fan, Z. Y.; Rong, G.; Browning, J.; Newman, Nathan.

In: Materials Science and Engineering B: Solid-State Materials for Advanced Technology, Vol. 67, No. 1, 08.12.1999, p. 80-87.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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