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Eutectic Formation, V/III Ratio and Controlled Polarity Inversion in Nitrides on Silicon



Alexana Roshko, Matthew D. Brubaker, Paul T. Blanchard, Todd E. Harvey, Kristine A. Bertness


The crystallographic polarity of AlN grown on Si(111) by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy is intentionally inverted from N-polar to Al-polar at a planar boundary. The position of the inversion boundary is controlled by a two-step growth process that abruptly changes from Al- rich to N-rich growth conditions. The polarity inversion is induced by the presence of Si, which is incorporated from an Al-Si eutectic layer that forms during the initial stages of AlN growth and floats on the AlN surface under Al-rich growth conditions. When the growth conditions change to N-rich the Al and Si in the eutectic react with the additional N-flux and are incorporated into the solid AlN film. Relatively low levels of Al-Si eutectic formation combined with lateral variations in the Si incorporation lead to nonuniformity in the polarity inversion and formation of surprisingly narrow, vertical inversion domains. The results suggest that intentional incorporation of uniform layers of Si may provide a method for producing polarity engineered nitride structures.
Physica Status Solidi B-Basic Solid State Physics


nitride, AlN, Si, polarity, eutectic, scanning transmission electron microscopy


Roshko, A. , Brubaker, M. , Blanchard, P. , Harvey, T. and Bertness, K. (2019), Eutectic Formation, V/III Ratio and Controlled Polarity Inversion in Nitrides on Silicon, Physica Status Solidi B-Basic Solid State Physics, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created November 19, 2019, Updated June 1, 2020