||Environmentally friendly method to grow wide-bandgap semiconductor aluminum nitride crystals: Elementary source vapor phase epitaxy.
Wu, PeiTsen ,
Funato, MitsuruKawakami, Yoichi
52015-11-30 , Nature Publishing Group
Aluminum nitride (AlN) has attracted increasing interest as an optoelectronic material in the deep ultraviolet spectral range due to its wide bandgap of 6.0 eV (207 nm wavelength) at room temperature. Because AlN bulk single crystals are ideal device substrates for such applications, the crystal growth of bulky AlN has been extensively studied. Two growth methods seem especially promising: hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) and sublimation. However, the former requires hazardous gases such as hydrochloric acid and ammonia, while the latter needs extremely high growth temperatures around 2000 °C. Herein we propose a novel vapor-phase-epitaxy-based growth method for AlN that does not use toxic materials; the source precursors are elementary aluminum and nitrogen gas. To prepare our AlN, we constructed a new growth apparatus, which realizes growth of AlN single crystals at a rate of ~18 μm/h at 1550 °C using argon as the source transfer via the simple reaction Al + 1/2N2 → AlN. This growth rate is comparable to that by HVPE, and the growth temperature is much lower than that in sublimation. Thus, this study opens up a novel route to achieve environmentally friendly growth of AlN.