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Characterization of Sub-Monolayer Contaminants at the Regrowth Interface in GaN Nanowires Grown by Selective-Area Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Author:
Blanchard, Paul  Brubaker, Matt  Harvey, Todd  Roshko, Alexana  Sanford, Norman  Weber, Joel  Bertness, Kris A.  


Journal:
CRYSTALS


Issue Date:
2018


Abstract(summary):

While GaN nanowires (NWs) offer an attractive architecture for a variety of nanoscale optical, electronic, and mechanical devices, defects such as crystal polarity inversion domains (IDs) can limit device performance. Moreover, the formation of such defects during NW growth is not fully understood. In this study, we use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT) to investigate the effects of sub-monolayer contamination at the regrowth interface in GaN NWs grown by selective-area molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). TEM energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and APT independently identified Al and O contamination localized at the regrowth interface in two of the three growth runs examined. The Al and O concentrations were each estimated to be on the order of 11% of an ideal c-plane monolayer in the most severely contaminated case. The amount of contamination correlated with the number of crystal polarity inversion domain defects (IDs) across the growth runs. A growth run in which the pre-regrowth HF vapor etch step was replaced by HCl immersion showed the smallest quantity of O and no measurable Al. In addition, many of the NWs examined from the HCl-treated growth run turned out to be free of IDs. These results suggest that sub-monolayer contamination introduced during processing contributes to defect formation in MBE-grown GaN NWs.


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