AlN grown on Si(111) by ammonia-molecular beam epitaxy in the 900-1200 degrees C temperature range

We present a comprehensive study of AlN growth on Si(111) substrate by gas source molecular beam epitaxy with ammonia as nitrogen precursor in the high temperature range. We first demonstrate that the observation of the silicon 7 x 7 surface reconstruction by reflection high energy electron diffraction can be misleading as this technique is not sensitive to low density surface defects like SiC crystallites. A careful in situ cleaning procedure with annealing cycles at 1100 degrees C allows getting rid of any surface defects, as shown by atomic force microscopy imaging. Then, we explore the effect of the growth temperature on the surface morphology and structural properties of 100 nm thick AlN epilayers. At 1200 degrees C, the growth proceeds with the step flow mode regime, which induces spiral-growth around screw-type dislocations and therefore surface roughening. On the other hand, a smooth surface morphology can be achieved by setting the temperature at 1100 degrees C, which corresponds to the growth mode transition from two-dimensional nucleation to step flow. A further decrease of the growth temperature to 900 degrees C to surface defects ascribed to polarity inversion domains. Similar defects are observed for growths performed at 1100 degrees C when the NH3 flow is reduced below 100 sccm. This points out the sensitivity of AlN to the surface stoichiometry. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B. V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND

Published in:
Journal Of Crystal Growth, 476, 58-63
Amsterdam, Elsevier

 Record created 2017-10-09, last modified 2018-12-03

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