Roles of kinetics and energetics in the growth of AlN by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy

I. H. Im, T. Minegishi, Takashi Hanada, S. W. Lee, D. C. Oh, J. H. Chang, M. W. Cho, T. Yao

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The roles of kinetics and energetics in the growth processes of AlN on c-sapphire by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy are investigated by varying the growth rate from 1 to 31 Å/min and the substrate temperature from 800 to 1000 °C. The energetics is found to govern the growth of AlN in the low-growth rate region even at a low substrate temperature of 800 °C owing to the enhanced residence time of adatoms, thereby increasing the surface migration length. As the growth rate increases, the growth tends to be governed by kinetics because of a reduction in the residence time of adatoms. Consequently, the surface roughness and crystal quality are greatly improved for the low-growth-rate case. In addition, the lattice strain relaxation is completed from the beginning of epitaxy for energetics-limiting growth while lattice strain relaxation is retarded for kinetics-limiting growth because of pre-existing partial strain relaxation. Energetics becomes more favorable as the substrate temperature is raised because of an increase in the surface diffusion length owing to an enhanced diffusion coefficient. Consequently high-crystal-quality AlN layers are grown under the energetics-limiting growth condition with a screw dislocation density of 7.4 × 108 cm -2 even for a thin 42-nm thick film.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-912
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Korean Physical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sep 1


  • AlN
  • Energetics
  • Growth rate
  • Kinetics
  • MBE
  • Substrate temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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