Improvement of optical quality of semipolar (11(2)over-bar2) GaN on m-plane sapphire by in-situ epitaxial lateral overgrowth
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Among the major obstacles for development of non-polar and semipolar GaN structures on foreign substrates are stacking faults which deteriorate the structural and optical quality of the material. In this work, an in-situ SiNx nano-network has been employed to achieve high quality heteroepitaxial semipolar (11 (2) over bar2) GaN on m-plane sapphire with reduced stacking fault density. This approach involves in-situ deposition of a porous SiNx interlayer on GaN that serves as a nano-mask for the subsequent growth, which starts in the nanometer-sized pores (window regions) and then progresses laterally as well, as in the case of conventional epitaxial lateral overgrowth (ELO). The inserted SiNx nano-mask effectively prevents the propagation of defects, such as dislocations and stacking faults, in the growth direction and thus reduces their density in the overgrown layers. The resulting semipolar (11 (2) over bar2) GaN layers exhibit relatively smooth surface morphology and improved optical properties (PL intensity enhanced by a factor of 5 and carrier lifetimes by 35% to 85% compared to the reference semipolar (11 (2) over bar2) GaN layer) which approach to those of the c-plane in-situ nano-ELO GaN reference and, therefore, holds promise for light emitting and detecting devices.