Effect of thermal treatment on ZnO substrate for epitaxial growth
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ZnO is a highly efficient photon emitter, and has optical and piezoelectric properties that are attractive for a variety of applications in sensors and potentially optoelectronic devices such as emitters. Due to its identical stacking order and close lattice match to GaN, it is also being developed as a substrate material for GaN epitaxy. However, the surface finish of the ZnO is such that much of the damage induced by sawing and follow up mechanical polishing remains. We developed a thermal treatment method to eliminate surface damage on the 0 face of ZnO (0 0 0 (1) under bar) to prepare it for epitaxial growth. Atomic force microscopy images of ZnO (0 0 0 (1) under bar) annealed at 1050 degreesC for 3 h etc. show that residual scratches from mechanical polishing are removed and atomically flat, terrace-like surfaces are attained. In addition, low-temperature photoluminescence and high-resolution X-ray diffraction measurements have been employed to investigate the effect of annealing on ZnO substrates.