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Title: Pseudomorphic growth of thick Al 0.6 Ga 0.4 N epilayers on AlN substrates
We report on the absence of strain relaxation mechanism in Al 0.6 Ga 0.4 N epilayers grown on (0001) AlN substrates for thickness as large as 3.5  μm, three-orders of magnitude beyond the Matthews–Blakeslee critical thickness for the formation of misfit dislocations (MDs). A steady-state compressive stress of 3–4 GPa was observed throughout the AlGaN growth leading to a large lattice bow (a radius of curvature of 0.5 m −1 ) for the thickest sample. Despite the large lattice mismatch-induced strain energy, the epilayers exhibited a smooth and crack-free surface morphology. These results point to the presence of a large barrier for nucleation of MDs in Al-rich AlGaN epilayers. Compositionally graded AlGaN layers were investigated as potential strain relief layers by the intentional introduction of MDs. While the graded layers abetted MD formation, the inadequate length of these MDs correlated with insignificant strain relaxation. This study emphasizes the importance of developing strain management strategies for the implementation of the single-crystal AlN substrate platform for III-nitride deep-UV optoelectronics and power electronics.
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Award ID(s):
1916800 1653383
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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