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Open AccessArticle

Ion Beam Assisted Deposition of Thin Epitaxial GaN Films

Leibniz Institute of Surface Modification, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Felix-Bloch Institute for Solid State Physics, Universität Leipzig, Linnéstraße 5, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Now with MEA Engineering GmbH, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
Now with Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
Materials 2017, 10(7), 690;
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Beam Analysis, Modification, and Irradiation of Materials)
The assistance of thin film deposition with low-energy ion bombardment influences their final properties significantly. Especially, the application of so-called hyperthermal ions (energy <100 eV) is capable to modify the characteristics of the growing film without generating a large number of irradiation induced defects. The nitrogen ion beam assisted molecular beam epitaxy (ion energy <25 eV) is used to deposit GaN thin films on (0001)-oriented 6H-SiC substrates at 700 °C. The films are studied in situ by reflection high energy electron diffraction, ex situ by X-ray diffraction, scanning tunnelling microscopy, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. It is demonstrated that the film growth mode can be controlled by varying the ion to atom ratio, where 2D films are characterized by a smooth topography, a high crystalline quality, low biaxial stress, and low defect density. Typical structural defects in the GaN thin films were identified as basal plane stacking faults, low-angle grain boundaries forming between w-GaN and z-GaN and twin boundaries. The misfit strain between the GaN thin films and substrates is relieved by the generation of edge dislocations in the first and second monolayers of GaN thin films and of misfit interfacial dislocations. It can be demonstrated that the low-energy nitrogen ion assisted molecular beam epitaxy is a technique to produce thin GaN films of high crystalline quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: ion beam assisted deposition; gallium nitride thin films; hyperthermal ions ion beam assisted deposition; gallium nitride thin films; hyperthermal ions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rauschenbach, B.; Lotnyk, A.; Neumann, L.; Poppitz, D.; Gerlach, J.W. Ion Beam Assisted Deposition of Thin Epitaxial GaN Films. Materials 2017, 10, 690.

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