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Title: Control of ion content and nitrogen species using a mixed chemistry plasma for GaN grown at extremely high growth rates >9 μm/h by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy

Utilizing a modified nitrogen plasma source, plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) has been used to achieve higher growth rates in GaN. A higher conductance aperture plate, combined with higher nitrogen flow and added pumping capacity, resulted in dramatically increased growth rates up to 8.4 μm/h using 34 sccm of N{sub 2} while still maintaining acceptably low operating pressure. It was further discovered that argon could be added to the plasma gas to enhance growth rates up to 9.8 μm/h, which was achieved using 20 sccm of N{sub 2} and 7.7 sccm Ar flows at 600 W radio frequency power, for which the standard deviation of thickness was just 2% over a full 2 in. diameter wafer. A remote Langmuir style probe employing the flux gauge was used to indirectly measure the relative ion content in the plasma. The use of argon dilution at low plasma pressures resulted in a dramatic reduction of the plasma ion current by more than half, while high plasma pressures suppressed ion content regardless of plasma gas chemistry. Moreover, different trends are apparent for the molecular and atomic nitrogen species generated by varying pressure and nitrogen composition in the plasma. Argon dilution resulted in nearly an order ofmore » magnitude achievable growth rate range from 1 μm/h to nearly 10 μm/h. Even for films grown at more than 6 μm/h, the surface morphology remained smooth showing clear atomic steps with root mean square roughness less than 1 nm. Due to the low vapor pressure of Si, Ge was explored as an alternative n-type dopant for high growth rate applications. Electron concentrations from 2.2 × 10{sup 16} to 3.8 × 10{sup 19} cm{sup −3} were achieved in GaN using Ge doping, and unintentionally doped GaN films exhibited low background electron concentrations of just 1–2 × 10{sup 15} cm{sup −3}. The highest growth rates resulted in macroscopic surface features due to Ga cell spitting, which is an engineering challenge still to be addressed. Nonetheless, the dramatically enhanced growth rates demonstrate great promise for the future of III-nitride devices grown by PAMBE.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332 (United States)
  2. Veeco Instruments, St. Paul, Minnesota 55127 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22492832
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 118; Journal Issue: 15; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; APERTURES; ARGON; CONTROL; CRYSTAL GROWTH; DILUTION; FILMS; GALLIUM NITRIDES; MOLECULAR BEAM EPITAXY; MORPHOLOGY; NITROGEN; PLASMA PRESSURE; RADIOWAVE RADIATION; THICKNESS; VAPOR PRESSURE