Graded InGaN Buffers for Strain Relaxation in GaN/InGaN Epliayers Grown on Sapphire
Author(s)Song, T.L.; Chua, Soo-Jin; Fitzgerald, Eugene A.
Graded InGaN buffers are employed to relax the strain arising from the lattice and thermal mismatches between GaN/InGaN epilayers grown on sapphire. The formation of V-pits in linearly graded InGaN/GaN bulk epilayers is illustrated. The V-pits were sampled using Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy to examine their variation from the theoretical geometry shape. We discovered that the size of the V-pit opening in linearly graded InGaN, with and without GaN cap layer, has a Gaussian distribution. As such, we deduce that the V-pits are produced at different rates, as the growth of the InGaN layer progresses. In Stage I, the V-pits form at a slow rate at the beginning and then accelerate in Stage II when a critical thickness is reached before decelerating in Stage III after arriving at a mean size. It is possible to fill the V-pits by growing a GaN cap layer. It turns out that the filling of the V-pits is more effective at lower growth temperature of the GaN cap layer and the size of the V-pits opening, which is continued in to GaN cap layer, is not dependent on the GaN cap layer thickness. Furthermore, graded InGaN/GaN layers display better strain relaxation as compared to conventionally grown bulk GaN. By employing a specially design configuration, the V-pits can be eliminated from the InGaN epilayer.
Advanced Materials for Micro- and Nano-Systems (AMMNS);
graded InGaN buffers, strain relaxation, GaN/InGaN epliayers, sapphire, V-pits