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Initial Stages of Growth of Thin Films of III-V Nitrides and Silicon Carbide Polytypes by Molecular Beam Epitaxy

  • Robert F. Davis (a1), K. S. Ailey (a1), R. S. Kern (a1), D. J. Kester (a1), Z. Sitar (a1), L. Smith (a1), S. Tanaka (a1) and C. Wang (a1)...


The morphology and interface chemistry occurring during the initial deposition of BN, AlN and GaN films via metal evaporation and N2 decomposition under UHV conditions have been determined. FTIR spectroscopy and TEM revealed the consecutive deposition of an initial 20Å layer of a-BN, 20–60Å of oriented h-BN, and a final layer of polycrystalline c-BN. This sequence is attributed primarily to increasing intrinsic compressive stress in the films. XPS analysis revealed the growth of GaN on sapphire to occur via the Stranski-Krastanov mode; growth on SiC showed characteristics of three-dimensional growth. AlN grew layer-by-layer on both substrates. Vicinal 6H-SiC(0001) substrate surfaces contain closely spaced, single bilayer steps. During deposition of Si and C at 1050°C, 6H layers initially form and step bunching occurs. The latter phenomenon results in more widely spaced steps, the nucleation of 3C-SiC both on the new terraces and at the larger steps and formation of double position boundaries. The C/Si ratio in the gaseous reactants also affects the occurrence of these three phenomena.



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