Gallium nitride films were grown by rf-plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. A small indium flux was used as surfactant during the growth. The optical and electrical properties of the films grown with and without In surfactant were characterized by investigating the photoluminescence (PL), high resolution x-ray diffraction (HRXRD) and low-frequency noise power spectra. The sample grown in the presence of In surfactant showed a suppressed yellow luminescence (YL) compared to the one grown without In surfactant. Significant reduction in the full width at half maximum of the GaN (0002) x-ray diffraction peak, indicating a better film quality, was obtained when In surfactant was used during growth. Atomic force microscopy studies show that the root mean squared surface roughness for films grown with and without the In surfactant are 5.86 and 6.99 nm respectively indicating significant improvement in surface morphology. This is attributed to the enhanced 2-dimensional growth by In surfactant. A smaller Hooge parameter was obtained from the low-frequency noise measurement for the sample grown with In surfactant indicating that application of In surfactant led to significant reduction in the trap density of the material.
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