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Nitride materials are of interest for a wide variety of applications, including wear-resistant coatings, insulating layers, high-temperature semiconductor devices, and short-wavelength emitters and detectors. TiN and AlN appear to be particularly amenable to crystalline thin film deposition, with stoichiometric material easily obtained even without the use of active nitrogen species. This paper describes the growth of crystalline AlN and TiN thin films on silicon and sapphire substrates using a KrF excimer laser (λ = 248 nm) to ablate elemental metallic targets, and an inductively-coupled RF plasma source to supply active nitrogen species. Growth was monitored in-situ using reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED), and films were characterised using fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and electron microscopy techniques. Optimised growth conditions led to single-crystal growth of TiN on both substrates, but only polycrystalline AlN was formed directly. Use of a TiN buffer layer on (0001) sapphire led to the successful growth of a single-crystal AlN layer as confirmed by RHEED and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM).
Variable magnetic field Hall effect, photoluminescence (PL) and capacitance-voltage (CV) analysis have been used to study InN layers grown by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. All three techniques reveal evidence of a buried p-type layer beneath a surface electron accumulation layer in heavily Mg-doped samples. The use of lattice-matched Yttria-stablized Zirconia substrates also provides evidence of a p-type layer.
The growth of nanostructured material continues to attract attention for a number of applications, including highly sensitive gas sensors (due to the increased surface area), and photonic crystals (which require arrays of nanostructures). Even though nanostructures can be formed through self-assembly, they often do not possess the high crystal quality of those grown using vapour liquid solid (VLS) techniques; also, with VLS the feature size and placement can be easily controlled. To achieve VLS growth, however, several parameters have to be considered specific to the material of interest. In this study, we examine VLS growth of both InN (infrared) and ZnO (ultraviolet) nanostructures.
The effect of different oxygen species on the RF plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy growth of ZnO films has been investigated. By varying the geometry of the aperture plate and also the RF power, the relative atomic content in the discharge was altered, and this is found to be corre-lated to the film quality. Further, growth rate studies performed in tandem with in-situ laser interferometry suggest that stoichiometric conditions may not result in saturation of growth rates.
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