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Low defect density a-plane GaN films were successfully grown by sidewall epitaxial lateral overgrowth (SELO) technique. Control of V/III ratio during the growth of GaN by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) was found to be very important to achieve a complete overgrowth on the SiO2 mask regions and atomically flat surface. The threading dislocation and stacking fault densities in the overgrown regions were lower than 106 cm−2 and 103 cm−1, respectively. The root mean square roughness was 0.09 nm. We also fabricated and characterized a-plane-GaN-based-light-emitting diodes (LEDs) using SELO technique. The light output power of the blue-green LED steeply increased with the decrease of threading dislocation density from 1010 cm−2 to 108 cm−2 and tended to saturate at lower dislocation densities.
The anisotropically biaxial strain in a-plane AlGaN on GaN is investigated by X-ray diffraction analysis of the heterostructure of AlGaN and GaN grown on r-plane sapphire. The AlGaN layer with a low AlN molar fraction or small thickness is coherently grown on the GaN layer both along the m-axis and c-axis. An increase in AlN molar fraction or thickness in AlGaN, results in a slight relaxation of AlGaN only in one direction due to tensile stress along the c-axis, which is caused by the underlying GaN layer during the growth. The cause of the relaxation of AlGaN in one direction is thought to be a large anisotropically biaxial stress.
Mg-doped p-type a-plane GaN films were grown on unintentionally doped a-plane GaN templates by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE). The Mg concentration in a-plane GaN increased with increasing Mg source gas flow rate. A maximum hole concentration of 2.0 × 1018 cm-3 with a hole mobility of 4.5 cm2/Vs and resistivity of 0.7 Ω·cm were achieved. The activation ratio was 5.0 × 10-2. It was found that a maximum hole concentration in p-type a-plane GaN was higher than that in p-type c-plane GaN. The activation energy of Mg acceptors in p-type a-plane GaN with the maximum hole concentration was found to be 118 meV by temperature-dependent Hall-effect measurement.
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