Growth and characterization of group III-nitrides by migration enhanced afterglow epitaxy
Doctor of Philosophy
SubjectGroup III-nitrides materials system and applications
InN grown by MEAglow
MEAglow grown GaN
MEAglow growth technique
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The work presented in this thesis investigates the growth and properties of group III- nitride semiconductors that were grown using the Migration Enhanced Afterglow Epitaxy (MEAglow) method. This work was to enhance the understanding of the MEAglow growth process towards the improvement of quality of the layers grown using this technique. The MEAglow technique applies the migration enhanced epitaxy method in a low pressure plasma-based CVD reactor, which has a potential of producing high quality epitaxial group III-nitride layers at relatively low growth temperatures on large deposition areas. The low temperature pulse growth in metal-rich regime, comprising the MME method was employed under growth pressures between 500 mTorr and 3000 mTorr. As the MME method up to this point has been used only for MBE systems, study of the impact of the growth pressure on the materials properties was necessary. In this work the pressure dependence was mapped to an existing surface phase diagram for MBE systems by calculating the number of nitrogen gas phase collisions and the metalorganic bombardment rate, for the specific to the prototype reactor parameters, to a first approximation. This was done in order to achieve an intermediate regime free of metal droplets for growth in metal-rich regime. High quality epitaxial InN layers were accomplished on extremely thin and smooth Ga2O3 buffer layers. These results indicate a potential for the application of Ga2O3 buffers in InN growth. The MEAglow InN layers were further optimized for growth on commercially available GaN buffer layers and excellent two-dimensional growth was achieved for layers grown under metal-rich conditions at 512 °C. Post-growth annealing studies were carried out for InN layers grown at temperatures below 400 °C to study the limiting processes of the removal of excess nitrogen, believed to be a dominant defect in InN films grown in plasma-based systems at very low temperatures. Variations in GaN stoichiometry under certain growth conditions and the effect of similar growth conditions on MEAglow grown InGaN were also examined. The growth of MEAglow InGaN samples on sapphire substrates was optimized to reduce the indium surface segregation and phase separation of the material.