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Title: Initial exploration of growth of InN by electrochemical solution growth.

Abstract

This report summarizes a brief and unsuccessful attempt to grow indium nitride via the electrochemical solution growth method and a modification thereof. Described in this report is a brief effort using a $50,000 LDRD award to explore the possibilities of applying the Electrochemical Solution Growth (ESG) technique to the growth of indium nitride (InN). The ability to grow bulk InN would be exciting from a scientific perspective, and a commercial incentive lies in the potential of extending the ESG technique to grow homogeneous, bulk alloys of In{sub x}Ga{sub 1-x}N for light emitting diodes (LEDs) operating in the green region of the spectrum. Indium nitride is the most difficult of the III-nitrides to grow due to its very high equilibrium vapor pressure of nitrogen1. It is several orders of magnitude higher than for gallium nitride or aluminum nitride. InN has a bandgap energy of 0.7eV, and achieving its growth in bulk for large area, high quality substrates would permit the fabrication of LEDs operating in the infrared. By alloying with GaN and AlN, the bulk material used as substrates would enable high efficiency emission wavelengths that could be tailored all the way through the deep ultraviolet. In addition, InN has beenmore » shown to have very high electronic mobilities (2700 cm{sup 2}/V s), making it a promising material for transistors and even terahertz emitters. Several attempts at synthesizing InN have been made by several groups. It was shown that metallic indium does not interact with unactivated nitrogen even at very high temperatures. Thus sets up an incompatibility between the precursors in all growth methods: a tradeoff between thermally activating the nitrogen-containing precursor and the low decomposition temperature of solid InN. We have been working to develop a novel growth technique that circumvents the difficulties of other bulk growth techniques by precipitating the column III nitrides from a solvent, such as a molten chloride salt, that provides an excellent host environment for the gallium nitride and indium nitride precursors. In particular, we have found that molten halide salts can solubilize both gallium (Ga{sup 3+}) and nitride (N{sup 3-}) ions without reacting with them to the extent that they are no longer available for reaction with each other. Literature reports indicate measured nitride ion concentrations in LiCl at 650 C as high as 10 mol% - a sufficient concentration to yield growth rates on the order of 0.1 to {approx}1 mm/hr under diffusion-limited growth conditions. Also, molten salts are compatible with the 400-1200 C temperatures likely to be necessary for growth of high-quality single-crystal III-nitrides. Since they can be worked with at (or close to) atmospheric pressure, scalability is not a problem and manufacturability issues are thus minimized, including capital equipment costs. Although the III-nitrides cannot be float-zone refined to remove impurities due to their high melting temperatures and vapor pressures, the salts can be, thus reducing sources of impurities before growth begins. Finally, the molten salts offer a number of pathways to improve the solubility and control the growth of the III-nitrides by functioning as an electrolyte in electrochemical processes. We have already demonstrated growth of wurtzite GaN particles ranging from 0.2 to 0.9 mm in two hours in our laboratory using these techniques. It was the goal of this work to extend this ESG approach to the growth of indium nitride. The hope was that the abundance of the activated form of nitrogen, namely the triply-charged nitride ion (N{sup -3}) would enable the facile growth of InN in solution at low temperatures.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
984148
Report Number(s):
SAND2010-0952
TRN: US201015%%1070
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ALLOYS; ALUMINIUM; ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE; CHLORIDES; ELECTROCHEMISTRY; ELECTROLYTES; GALLIUM; GALLIUM NITRIDES; HALIDES; IMPURITIES; INDIUM; INDIUM NITRIDES; LIGHT EMITTING DIODES; MELTING; MOLTEN SALTS; NITRIDES; NITROGEN; PRECURSOR; SOLUBILITY; SUBSTRATES; TRANSISTORS; VAPOR PRESSURE; WAVELENGTHS; Electrochemical analysis.; Indium compounds.

Citation Formats

Waldrip, Karen Elizabeth. Initial exploration of growth of InN by electrochemical solution growth.. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.2172/984148.
Waldrip, Karen Elizabeth. Initial exploration of growth of InN by electrochemical solution growth.. United States. doi:10.2172/984148.
Waldrip, Karen Elizabeth. Mon . "Initial exploration of growth of InN by electrochemical solution growth.". United States. doi:10.2172/984148. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/984148.
@article{osti_984148,
title = {Initial exploration of growth of InN by electrochemical solution growth.},
author = {Waldrip, Karen Elizabeth},
abstractNote = {This report summarizes a brief and unsuccessful attempt to grow indium nitride via the electrochemical solution growth method and a modification thereof. Described in this report is a brief effort using a $50,000 LDRD award to explore the possibilities of applying the Electrochemical Solution Growth (ESG) technique to the growth of indium nitride (InN). The ability to grow bulk InN would be exciting from a scientific perspective, and a commercial incentive lies in the potential of extending the ESG technique to grow homogeneous, bulk alloys of In{sub x}Ga{sub 1-x}N for light emitting diodes (LEDs) operating in the green region of the spectrum. Indium nitride is the most difficult of the III-nitrides to grow due to its very high equilibrium vapor pressure of nitrogen1. It is several orders of magnitude higher than for gallium nitride or aluminum nitride. InN has a bandgap energy of 0.7eV, and achieving its growth in bulk for large area, high quality substrates would permit the fabrication of LEDs operating in the infrared. By alloying with GaN and AlN, the bulk material used as substrates would enable high efficiency emission wavelengths that could be tailored all the way through the deep ultraviolet. In addition, InN has been shown to have very high electronic mobilities (2700 cm{sup 2}/V s), making it a promising material for transistors and even terahertz emitters. Several attempts at synthesizing InN have been made by several groups. It was shown that metallic indium does not interact with unactivated nitrogen even at very high temperatures. Thus sets up an incompatibility between the precursors in all growth methods: a tradeoff between thermally activating the nitrogen-containing precursor and the low decomposition temperature of solid InN. We have been working to develop a novel growth technique that circumvents the difficulties of other bulk growth techniques by precipitating the column III nitrides from a solvent, such as a molten chloride salt, that provides an excellent host environment for the gallium nitride and indium nitride precursors. In particular, we have found that molten halide salts can solubilize both gallium (Ga{sup 3+}) and nitride (N{sup 3-}) ions without reacting with them to the extent that they are no longer available for reaction with each other. Literature reports indicate measured nitride ion concentrations in LiCl at 650 C as high as 10 mol% - a sufficient concentration to yield growth rates on the order of 0.1 to {approx}1 mm/hr under diffusion-limited growth conditions. Also, molten salts are compatible with the 400-1200 C temperatures likely to be necessary for growth of high-quality single-crystal III-nitrides. Since they can be worked with at (or close to) atmospheric pressure, scalability is not a problem and manufacturability issues are thus minimized, including capital equipment costs. Although the III-nitrides cannot be float-zone refined to remove impurities due to their high melting temperatures and vapor pressures, the salts can be, thus reducing sources of impurities before growth begins. Finally, the molten salts offer a number of pathways to improve the solubility and control the growth of the III-nitrides by functioning as an electrolyte in electrochemical processes. We have already demonstrated growth of wurtzite GaN particles ranging from 0.2 to 0.9 mm in two hours in our laboratory using these techniques. It was the goal of this work to extend this ESG approach to the growth of indium nitride. The hope was that the abundance of the activated form of nitrogen, namely the triply-charged nitride ion (N{sup -3}) would enable the facile growth of InN in solution at low temperatures.},
doi = {10.2172/984148},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {2}
}

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