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  1. Flexible electronics and mechanically bendable devices based on Group III-N semiconductor materials are emerging; however, there are several challenges in manufacturing, such as cost reduction, device stability and flexibility, and device-performance improvement. To overcome these limitations, it is necessary to replace the brittle and expensive semiconductor wafers with single-crystalline flexible templates for a new-bandgap semiconductor platform. The substrates in the new concept of semiconductor materials have a hybrid structure consisting of a single-crystalline III-N thin film on a flexible metal tape substrate which provides a convenient and scalable roll-to-roll deposition process. We present a detailed study of a unique and simple direct epitaxial growth technique for crystallinity transformation to deliver single-crystalline GaN thin film with highly oriented grains along both a -axis and c -axis directions on a flexible and polycrystalline copper tape. A 2-dimensional (2D) graphene having the same atomic configuration as the (0001) basal plane of wurtzite structure is employed as a seed layer which plays a key role in following the III-N epitaxy growth. The DC reactive magnetron sputtering method is then applied to deposit an AlN layer under optimized conditions to achieve preferred-orientation growth. Finally, single-crystalline GaN layers (∼1 μm) are epitaxially grown using metal organicmore »chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on the biaxially-textured buffer layer. The flexible single-crystalline GaN film obtained using this method provides a new way for a wide-bandgap semiconductor platform pursuing flexible, high-performance, and versatile device technology.« less
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 16, 2023
  3. A top-illuminated deep-ultraviolet Al0.6Ga0.4N p-i-n avalanche photodiode (APD) structure was designed and grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition on an AlN bulk substrate and on two different quality AlN/sapphire templates, and APDs were fabricated and tested. The APD devices with a circular diameter of 20  μm have demonstrated a distinctive reverse-bias breakdown behavior. The reverse breakdown voltage of the APDs is approximately −140 V, which corresponds to a breakdown electric field of 6–6.2 MV/cm for the Al0.6Ga0.4N material as estimated by Silvaco TCAD simulation. The APDs grown on the AlN bulk substrate show the lowest leakage current density of <1 × 10−8 A/cm2(at low reverse bias) compared to that of the devices grown on the AlN templates. From the photocurrent measurement, a maximum gain (current limited) of 1.2 × 104is calculated. The average temperature coefficients of the breakdown voltage are negative for APD devices fabricated from both the AlN bulk substrate and the AlN templates, but these data show that the coefficient is the least negative for the APD devices grown on the low-dislocation-density AlN bulk substrate.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 9, 2023
  4. BAlN films were grown by flow-rate modulation epitaxy on AlN. Figure 1 shows x-ray diffraction (XRD) peaks of 3-µm AlN/(0001) sapphire template layer and 45-nm BAlN layer at 2θ angles of 36.146o and 36.481o, corresponding to c-lattice constants of 4.966 and 4.922Å, respectively. The BAlN XRD peak is very clear and distinct given the small thickness, indicating good wurtzite crystallinity. It is not possible to directly calculate the B content from XRD alone because of uncertainty of the lattice parameters and strain. However, based on the angular separation of the XRD peaks and c-lattice constant difference, the B content is estimated to be ~7% [ ], which is considerably higher than those of high-quality wurtzite BAlN layers reported before [ , , ]. To obtain the accurate B content, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) measurements are being made. Figures 2(a)-(b) show a high-resolution cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image with a magnification of 150 kx taken at a-zone axis ([11-20] projection) and diffraction pattern after fast-Fourier transform (FFT). A sharp interface between the AlN and BAlN layers is observed. In addition, the BAlN film exhibits a highly ordered lattice throughout the entire 45nm thickness without the polycrystalline columnar structures found inmore »previous reports [1, ]. The FFT image confirms a wurtzite structure oriented along c-axis. Figure 3 shows a 5×5 µm2 atomic force microscopy (AFM) image of BAlN layer surface. The root-mean-square (RMS) surface roughness is ~1.7nm. Surface macro-steps were found on the surface due to longer diffusion length of group-III atoms than the expected step terrace width. This indicates there is potential to lower the growth temperature to create smoother surfaces while maintaining crystallinity which has been observed for AlN [ ]. In summary, a high-quality wurtzite BAlN layer with relatively high B content ~7% was demonstrated by MOCVD. Refractive index will be measured to facilitate design of distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) for deep UV vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL).« less