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Issue 10, 2020
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Revealing inhomogeneous Si incorporation into GaN at the nanometer scale by electrochemical etching

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Abstract

Typical methods of doping quantification are based on spectroscopy or conductivity measurements. The spatial dopant distribution assessment with nanometer-scale precision is limited usually to one or two dimensions. Here we demonstrate an approach to detect three-dimensional dopant homogeneity in GaN:Si layers using electrochemical etching (ECE). GaN:Si layers are grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Dopant incorporation is uniform when the growth front morphology is atomically flat. Non-uniform Si incorporation into GaN is observed when step-bunches are present on the surface during epitaxy. In this study we show that local Si concentration in the area of step-bunch is about three times higher than in the area between step-bunches. ECE spatial resolution in our experiment is estimated to be about 50 nm. This makes ECE a simple and quantitative probing tool for local three-dimensional conductivity homogeneity assessment. Our study proves that ECE could be important both for fundamental studies of crystal growth physics and impurity incorporation and for ion-implanted structures and post-processing device control.

Graphical abstract: Revealing inhomogeneous Si incorporation into GaN at the nanometer scale by electrochemical etching

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
30 Dec 2019
Accepted
10 Feb 2020
First published
13 Feb 2020

Nanoscale, 2020,12, 6137-6143
Article type
Paper

Revealing inhomogeneous Si incorporation into GaN at the nanometer scale by electrochemical etching

M. Sawicka, N. Fiuczek, H. Turski, G. Muziol, M. Siekacz, K. Nowakowski-Szkudlarek, A. Feduniewicz-Żmuda, P. Wolny and C. Skierbiszewski, Nanoscale, 2020, 12, 6137
DOI: 10.1039/C9NR10968D

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