GaN is recently considered as the most important material for blue and ultraviolet optoelectronics. The device structures are usually grown on foreign substrates which results in high density of dislocations above 108cm−2. The application of high N2 pressure gives a unique possibility of growing of GaN single crystalline substrates which allows to lower dislocation density in epitaxial layers by 3–4 orders of magnitude.
In this paper, the results of high nitrogen pressure study of properties of Al-N, Ga-N and In-N systems are presented. The results include the phase diagrams in large range of pressures and temperatures (up to 2 GPa and 2000K) and also growth of GaN single crystals from atomic nitrogen solution in liquid gallium. The kinetic limitations of dissolution of N2 in liquid Al, Ga and In will be discussed. It follows, that the best conditions for crystal growth at available pressures and temperatures can be achieved for GaN.
The high nitrogen pressure experimental system equipped with multi-zone internal furnace was used for growth of high quality GaN crystals. At present both n-type and semi-insulating substrate quality GaN crystals with surface area up to 1cm2, with dislocation density below 105 cm-2 are routinely obtained and successfully used for homoepitaxy.
Some results concerning homoepitaxial growth by the MOCVD and MBE methods are shortly reviewed. In particular, it is shown that perfectly matched (strain free) GaN layers can be deposited on the highly resistive GaN:Mg substrates.