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  1. To date, it has remained challenging to achieve N-polar AlN, which is of great importance for high power, high frequency, and high temperature electronics, acoustic resonators and filters, ultraviolet (UV) optoelectronics, and integrated photonics. Here, we performed a detailed study of the molecular beam epitaxy and characterization of N-polar AlN on C-face 4H-SiC substrates. The N-polar AlN films grown under optimized conditions exhibit an atomically smooth surface and strong excitonic emission in the deep UV with luminescence efficiency exceeding 50% at room temperature. Detailed scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) studies suggest that most dislocations are terminated/annihilated within ∼200 nm AlN grown directly on the SiC substrate due to the relatively small (1%) lattice mismatch between AlN and SiC. The strain distribution of AlN is further analyzed by STEM and micro-Raman spectroscopy, and its impact on the temperature-dependent deep UV emission is elucidated.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. N-polar AlGaN is an emerging wide-bandgap semiconductor for next-generation high electron mobility transistors and ultraviolet light emitting diodes and lasers. Here, we demonstrate the growth and characterization of high-quality N-polar AlGaN films on C-face 4H-silicon carbide (SiC) substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. On optimization of the growth conditions, N-polar AlGaN films exhibit a crack free, atomically smooth surface (rms roughness ∼ 0.9 nm), and high crystal quality with low density of defects and dislocations. The N-polar crystallographic orientation of the epitaxially grown AlGaN film is unambiguously confirmed by wet chemical etching. We demonstrate precise compositional tunability of the N-polar AlGaN films over a wide range of Al content and a high internal quantum efficiency ∼74% for the 65% Al content AlGaN film at room temperature. Furthermore, controllable silicon (Si) doping in high Al content (65%) N-polar AlGaN films has been demonstrated with the highest mobility value ∼65 cm2/V-s observed corresponding to an electron concentration of 1.1 × 1017 cm−3, whereas a relatively high mobility value of 18 cm2/V-s is sustained for an electron concentration of 3.2 × 1019 cm−3, with an exceptionally low resistivity value of 0.009 Ω·cm. The polarity-controlled epitaxy of AlGaN on SiC presents a viable approach for achieving high-quality N-polar III-nitride semiconductors that can be harnessed for a wide range of emerging electronic and optoelectronic device applications.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 30, 2024