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AlN gradient interlayer design for the growth of high-quality AlN epitaxial film on sputtered AlN/sapphire substrate

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Abstract

In this study, we proposed a novel method to grow high-quality AlN films on sputtered AlN/sapphire substrates by designing an AlN gradient interlayer (GIL-AlN). The epitaxial growth kinetics and growth mechanism were studied in detail, which are responsible for the effects of GIL-AlN layers on the morphology evolution, crystal quality and in-plane biaxial stress of AlN films by varying temperature and/or V/III ratio gradient. The results showed that the insertion of a temperature and V/III ratio gradient GIL-AlN promoted the initial coalescence of small sputtered AlN grains, which finally grew into larger and low-density AlN islands in consistent c-axis orientation, leading to less threading dislocations and biaxial tensile stress in the upper HT-AlN films. Finally, we obtained a 1.5 μm high-quality crack-free AlN film with an atomically smooth surface, and the full width at half-maximum values of (0002) and (10[1 with combining macron]2) rocking curves were 197 and 435 arcsec, respectively, in an almost stress-free state. This GIL-AlN method provides a possible way to improve the surface cracks and quality of AlN films deposited on sputtered AlN/sapphire substrates, which hold great promise for commercialization in AlN-based devices.

Graphical abstract: AlN gradient interlayer design for the growth of high-quality AlN epitaxial film on sputtered AlN/sapphire substrate

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jul 2018, accepted on 18 Sep 2018 and first published on 19 Sep 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CE01185K
Citation: CrystEngComm, 2018, Advance Article
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    AlN gradient interlayer design for the growth of high-quality AlN epitaxial film on sputtered AlN/sapphire substrate

    B. Tan, J. Hu, J. Zhang, Y. Zhang, H. Long, J. Chen, S. Du, J. Dai, C. Chen, J. Xu, F. Liu and X. Li, CrystEngComm, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8CE01185K

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