Controlled growth of hexagonal GaN pyramids and InGaN QDs

Sammanfattning: Gallium-nitride (GaN) and its related alloys are direct band gap semiconductors, with a wide variety of applications. The white light emitting diode (LED) is of particular importance as it is expected to replace energy inefficient light bulb and hazardous incandescent lamps used today. However, today’s planar hetero epitaxial grown LEDs  structures contain an unavoidable number of dislocations, which serves as non-radiative recombination centers. The dislocations harm the luminous efficiency of the LEDs and generate additional heat. Pseudomorphically grown quantum dots (QDs) are expected to be dislocation free thus the injected carriers captured by the QDs essentially recombine radiatively since the dislocations remain outside the QD. Furthermore the continuous character of the density of states in bulk materials is redistributed when the size of the dot is reduced within the Bohr radius of the material. Fully discret energy levels are eventually reached, which offers additional control of the optical properties. The Coulomb interaction between the confined carriers also has influence on the emission energy of the recombining carriers, which opens up the possibility of manufacturing novel light sources such as the single photon emitter. Single photon emitters are essential building blocks for quantum cryptography and teleportation applications.The main contribution of the present work is the investigation of growth and characterization of sitecontrolled indium-gallium-nitride QDs embedded in GaN matrixes. The goal has been to demonstrate the ability to grow site-controlled InGaN QDs at the apex of hexagonal GaN pyramids in a controlled way using hot-wall metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). Strong emphasis was set on the controlled growth of InGaN QDs. For example the growth of a single InGaN QD located at the apex of hexagonal GaN pyramids with tunable emission energy, the QD emission energy impact on the mask design, and a novel approach for the growth of InGaN QDs with polarization deterministic photon vectors were reported. The thesis is mainly based on experimental investigations by secondary electron microscope (SEM), micro photo-luminescence (μPL), and scanning transition electron microscopy ((S)TEM) characterization techniques.In Paper 1 and 2, we present the growth of symmetric GaN hexagonal pyramids which served as template for the InGaN QDs grown. In paper 1, it was concluded that the selective area growth (SAG) of hexagonal GaN pyramids by MOCVD through symmetric openings in a SIN mask roughly can be divided in two regimes where either the pyramid expands laterally or not. When the pyramid expanded laterally the resulting pyramid apex became (0001) truncated even after prolonged growth times. Lateral expansion also had major impact on the pyramid-to-pyramid uniformity. In paper 2, the MOCVD process parameter impact on the pyramid morphology was investigated. By tuning the growth temperature, the ammonia, and TMGa-flows a self limited pyramid structure with only {1101} facets visible was achieved. The presence of the {1101}, {1102}, and {1100} facets were discussed from surface stabilities under various growth conditions.Paper 3 and 4 concern the growth of InGaN QDs located at the apex of hexagonal GaN pyramids. In paper 3, we showed that it is possible to grow single QDs at the apex of hexagonal pyramids with emission line widths in the Ångström range. The QD emission energy was demonstrated to be tunable by the growth temperature. Basic spectroscopy data is also presented on a single QD in paper 3. In paper 4, the growth mechanisms of the QDs presented in paper 3 are presented. We concluded that (0001) truncated GaN pyramid base initiated the growth of InGaN QDs which gave rise to narrow luminescence peaks in the μPL spectra.In paper 5, the QD emission energy impact of the mask design was investigated. To our big surprise the QD emission energy increased with increasing pyramid pitch while the emission energy of the InGaN quantum wells located on the {1101} facets of the pyramids energetically shifted towards lower energies. The energy shift at the apex was found to be associated with the (0001) truncation diameter of the underlying GaN pyramid since no energy shift was observed for (0001) truncated pyramids with truncation diameters larger than 100 nm.In paper 6, the symmetry of the GaN pyramids were intentionally broken through the introduction of elongated openings in the SiN mask (symmetric openings was used in the previous five papers). The emission polarization vectors of the subsequently grown InGaN QDs were deterministically linked to the in-plane orientation of the pyramid it was nucleated upon, implying that the QDs inhibit an inplane anisotropy directly inherited from the pyramid template.Finally, paper 7 describes a hot-wall MOCVD reactor improvement by inserting insulating pyrolytic boron-nitride (PBN) stripes in the growth chamber. By doing this, we have completely eliminated the arcing problem between different susceptor parts. As a consequence, the reactor gained run-to-run reproducibility. Growth of state of the art advanced aluminum-gallium-nitride high electron mobility transistor structures on a 100 mm wafer with electron mobility above 2000 Vs/cm2 was demonstrated by the improved process.