Structural characterization and optoelectronic properties of GaN thin films on Si(111) substrates using pulsed laser deposition assisted by gas discharge
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GaN films have been grown on Si(111) substrates with a thin AlN buffer layer using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) assisted by gas discharge. The crystalline quality, surface morphology and optoelectronic properties of the deposited films were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, and room-temperature Van der Pauw–Hall measurements. The influence of the deposition temperature in the range 637–1037 K on the crystallinity of GaN films, the laser incident energy in the range 150–250 mJ/pulse on the surface morphology and the optoelectronic properties were systematically studied. The XRD analysis shows that the crystalline quality of the GaN films improves with increasing deposition temperature to 937 K, but further increase of the deposition temperature to 1037 K leads to the degradation of the crystalline quality. AFM results show that the surface roughness of the GaN films can be decreased with increasing laser incident energy to 220 mJ/pulse. Further increase of the laser incident energy to 250 mJ/pulse leads to an increase in the surface roughness. The optoelectronic properties of GaN films were also improved by increasing the laser incident energy to 220 mJ/pulse. GaN films which have a n-type carrier concentration of 1.26×1017 cm-3 and a mobility of 158.1 cm2/Vs can be deposited at a substrate temperature of 937 K, a deposition pressure of 20 Pa and a laser incident energy of 220 mJ/pulse. Their room-temperature PL spectra exhibit a strong band-edge emission at 365 nm.
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