Aluminum nitride (AlN) is a promising material for use in applications such as deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices. In the present study, the effect of sputtering pressure on the surface morphology, crystalline quality, and residual stress of AlN films deposited at 823K on nitrided a-plane sapphire substrates, which have high-crystalline-quality c-plane AlN thin layers, by pulsed DC reactive sputtering was investigated. The c-axis-oriented AlN films were homoepitaxially grown on nitrided sapphire substrates at sputtering pressures of 0.4-1.5 Pa. Surface damage of the AlN sputtered films increased with increasing sputtering pressure because of arcing (abnormal electrical discharge) during sputtering. The sputtering pressure affected the crystalline quality and residual stress of AlN sputtered films because of a change in the number and energy of Ar+ ions and Al sputtered atoms. The crystalline quality of AlN films was improved by deposition with lower sputtering pressure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)