Surface morphology of GaN: flat versus vicinal surfaces

M. H. Xie, S. M. Seutter, L. X. Zheng, S. H. Cheung, Y. F. Ng, Huasheng Wu, S. Y. Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The surface morphology of GaN films grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) is investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). A comparison is made between flat and vicinal surfaces. The wurtzite structure of GaN leads to special morphological features such as step pairing and triangularly shaped islands. Spiral mounds due to growth at screw threading dislocations are dominant on flat surfaces, whereas for vicinal GaN, the surfaces show no spiral mound but evenly spaced steps. This observation suggests an effective suppression of screw threading dislocations in the vicinal films. This finding is confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies. Continued growth of the vicinal surface leads to step bunching that is attributed to the effect of electromigration.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)W3.29.1 - W3.29.6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2000
EventThe 1999 MRS Fall Meeting - Symposium W 'GaN and Related Alloys' - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: 28 Nov 19993 Dec 1999


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