Nitridation processes on GaAs(001) surfaces exposed to N2 microwave plasma were investigated by in situ reflectance-difference spectroscopy, reflection high-energy electron diffraction, and in-line Auger electron spectroscopy. We have found that a stable GaN layer is formed only when the As background pressure is sufficiently low. Nitridation is significantly suppressed under a high background pressure of As. A possible mechanism and its implication to GaN growth on GaAs surfaces are discussed.
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