Growth of Polarity-Controlled ZnO Films on (0001) Al2O3
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The polarity control of ZnO films grown on (0001) Al2O3 substrates by plasma-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy (P-MBE) was achieved by using a novel CrN buffer layer. Zn-polar ZnO films were obtained by using a Zn-terminated CrN buffer layer, while O-polar ZnO films were achieved by using a Cr2O3 layer formed by O-plasma exposure of a CrN layer. The mechanism of polarity control was proposed. Optical and structural quality of ZnO films was characterized by high-resolution X-ray diffraction and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. Low-temperature PL spectra of Zn-polar and O-polar samples show dominant bound exciton (I8) and strong free exciton emissions. Finally, one-dimensional periodic structures consisting of Zn-polar and O-polar ZnO films were simultaneously grown on the same substrate. The periodic inversion of polarity was confirmed in terms of growth rate, surface morphology, and piezo response microscopy (PRM) measurement.