Impact of intermediate high temperature annealing on the properties of AlN/sapphire templates grown by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy

S. Walde, S. Hagedorn, and M. Weyers

Published in:

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., vol. 58, no. SC, pp. SC1002 (2019).

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In this work, we investigate AlN/sapphire templates grown by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) subjected to an intermediate high temperature annealing (HTA) step at different AlN film thicknesses. To avoid cracking of the MOVPE layers during HTA at 1700 °C these layers have to be grown under low incorporation of tensile strain. For each sample the growth is stopped at a certain thickness between 230 nm and 1.2 µm followed by HTA. X-ray rocking curve FWHM of 0002 and 10-12 reflections lead to an estimation of threading dislocation densities (TDD) as low as 6 × 108 cm-2 for the thickest AlN layers of 880 nm and 1.2 µm after annealing. For all layer thicknesses MOVPE growth is subsequently continued to a total AlN layer thickness of 1.5 µm to reach for a smooth surface. The change of the AlN strain state after HTA leads to an increased wafer curvature at room temperature and compressive strain in the subsequently grown AlN layers increasing the wafer bow at room temperature. Hence, to serve as a base layer, e.g. for ultraviolet light emitting diodes, a trade-off between low TDD, surface smoothness and wafer bow has to be found.

Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Strasse 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany