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Strain relaxation in InGaN/GaN herostructures

Abstract : In this work, we have investigated the strain relaxation of InGaN layers grown on GaN templates by MOVPE and PAMBE using TEM. To this end we varied the indium composition from 4.1% to pure indium nitride and the corresponding mismatch was changing from less than 1% to 11.3%, the thickness of the InGaN layers was from 7 nm to 500 nm. When the indium composition is around 10%, one would expect mostly elastically strained layers with no misfit dislocations. However, we found that screw dislocations form systematically at the InGaN/GaN interface. Moreover, below 18% indium composition, screw and edge dislocations coexist, whereas starting at 18%, only edge dislocations were observed in these interfaces. Apart from the edge dislocations (misfit dislocations), other mechanisms have been pointed out for the strain relaxation. It is found that above an indium composition beyond 25%, many phenomena take place simultaneously. (1) Formation of the misfit dislocations at the heterointerface; (2) composition pulling with the surface layer being richer in indium in comparison to the interfacial layer; (3) disruption of the growth sequence through the formation of a random stacking sequence; (4) three dimentional (3D) growth which can even lead to porous layers when the indium composition is between 40% and 85%. However, pure InN is grown, the crystalline quality improves through a systematic formation of a 3D layer.
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Quantong Li. Strain relaxation in InGaN/GaN herostructures. Theoretical and/or physical chemistry. Normandie Université, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018NORMC204⟩. ⟨tel-01775272⟩

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