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Effect of In as Surfactant on the Growth of AlN/GaN Distributed Bragg Reflectors by Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy

  • L E Rodak (a1) and D Korakakis (a2)


Nitride based Distributed Bragg Reflectors (DBRs) have several important applications in current nitride based optoelectronic devices. DBRs can be implemented in resonant cavity light emitting diodes (RCLEDs) to improve light extraction and obtain a more directional emission and in vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) to achieve a lower threshold current. Due the large contrast in refractive index, AlN/GaN DRBs are practical for obtaining high reflectivity and wide bandwidth using relatively few periods. Cracking of the samples is typical for AlN/GaN DRBs due to the tensile strain which results from the 2.4% lattice mismatch and to the difference in thermal expansion coefficients. In addition to cracks, v-shaped defects may also arise in the surface due to surface undulation from stored elastic misfit strain or from threading dislocations that result in scattering and diffraction. Several techniques to reduce the number of cracks and defects have been investigated to obtain smooth surface morphology and high reflectivity, e.g. superlattices to reduce the strain or the growth of AlInGaN/GaN DBRs that offer less lattice mismatch but also lower refractive index contrast. In this work, results of the use of Indium (In) as a surfactant in Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE) will be discussed. This study addresses AlN/GaN DBR structures designed for peak reflectivity around 465 nm. During the AlN layers’ growth, trimethylindium was introduced to the system and resulted in a reduction of surface cracks. Results of growths at In flow rates are reported and discussed.



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