Growth of low dislocation density GaN using transition metal nitride masking layers

Moram, M A and Kappers, M J and Barber, Z H and Humphreys, C J


Films of Sc and Ti (5 and 20 nm thick) were deposited on 500 nm GaN/Al2O3 templates, then annealed in mixed NH3 and H2 at 1070 °C in an MOCVD reactor to produce ScN and TiN films. This resulted in a dense array of holes in the TiN layers, but had little effect on ScN layers. The dislocation densities in GaN grown on the masked templates were reduced significantly from 5.0±0.5×10\^9 cm−2 on the templates to 1.5±0.2×10\^8 cm−2 on the thin TiN layers and were reduced almost a 100-fold to 6.4±0.7×10\^7 cm−2 on the thin ScN layers, despite the absence of holes in the latter. TiN layers produced GaN films under compressive residual stress and ScN layers gave GaN films under tensile residual stress; the levels of stress varied with mask thickness. The masking layers therefore provide a convenient method to control both dislocation densities and wafer curvature, both of which are necessary for successful device fabrication.

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Department of Materials
Imperial College London
Royal School of Mines
Exhibition Road
London, SW7 2AZ - UK