Epitaxial growth of high quality AlN films on metallic aluminum substrates
AlN (0001) epitaxial films have been grown on Al (111) substrates with an in-plane epitaxial relationship of AlN//Al by pulsed laser deposition. The as-grown AlN films grown at 450 °C exhibited a very smooth and flat surface with a surface root-mean-square roughness less than 1.1 nm. There is no interfacial layer existing between AlN films and Al substrates, indicating an abrupt interface. The as-grown ~302 nm thick AlN films are almost fully relaxed only with an in-plane compressive strain of 0.16%. With the increase in growth temperature, the interfacial layer thickness increases, resulting in the degradation in the crystalline quality of the as-grown AlN films. These AlN films are of great interest for the commercial development of AlN-based devices.