Two I n x A l 1 - x N layers were grown simultaneously on different substrates [sapphire (0001) and the Ga-polar GaN template], but under the same reactor conditions, they were employed to investigate the mechanism of strain-driven compositional evolution. The resulting layers on different substrates exhibit different polarities and the layer grown on sapphire is N-polar. Moreover, for the two substrates, the difference in the degree of relaxation of the grown layers was almost 100%, leading to a large In-molar fraction difference of 0.32. Incorporation of In in I n x A l 1 - x N layers was found to be significantly influenced by the strain imposed by the under-layers. With the evolutionary process of In-incorporation during subsequent layer growth along , the direction of growth was investigated in detail by Auger electron spectroscopy. It is discovered that the I n 0.60 A l 0.40 N layer grown directly on sapphire consists of two different regions with different molar fractions: the transition region and the uniform region. According to the detailed cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, the transition region is formed near the hetero-interface due to the partial strain release caused by the generation of misfit-dislocations. The magnitude of residual strain in the uniform region decides the In-molar fraction. I n x A l 1 - x N layers were analyzed by structural and optical characterization techniques. Our present work also shows that a multi-characterization approach to study I n x A l 1 - x N is a prerequisite for their applications as a buffer layer.
- organometallic chemical vapor deposition
- In-rich In_x Al_(1-x)N layer
- high-resolution transmission electron microscopy
- atomic scanning transmission electron microscopy
- Auger electron spectroscopy