Relationships Between Strain and Recombination in Intermediate Growth Stages of GaN
- 160 Downloads
Using metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, we heteroepitaxially grew undoped gallium nitride epilayers on sapphire. Assessing the epilayers at different growth stages, we investigated changes in epilayer strain and the lifetime of minority nonequilibrium charge carriers. The in-plane compressive strain was evaluated by x-ray diffraction and bandgap photoluminescence. The epilayer thickness ranged from 200 nm (islets) to 3.5 μm (continuous structure). The carrier lifetimes, measured using a light-induced transient grating technique, revealed a correlation between strain and the density of edge-type threading dislocations. This dislocation density was 109 cm−2 to 1011 cm−2, corresponding to the dominant mechanism for nonradiative carrier recombination. How the carrier lifetime depended on the growth stage differed between the surface and interfacial measurements. On the surface side, the carrier lifetime increased monotonically up to ~500 ps with thickness; on the interface side, the lifetime changed little with thickness, except in the thickest sample, where the carrier lifetime increased with thickness. We attributed this behavior to defect healing aided by long-term annealing, leading to mutual lateral motion and annihilation of mixed threading dislocations.
KeywordsGallium nitride sapphire dislocation strain bandgap lifetime
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 24.O. Manasreh, eds., III-Nitride Semiconductors: Electrical, Structural and Defects Properties (Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 2000)Google Scholar