Scanning tunneling microscopy studies of III-nitride thin film heteroepitaxial growth
R.Z. Bakhtizin a
Q.-Zh. Xue b
Q.-K. Xue b
K.-H. Wu b
T. Sakurai b
a Department of Physical Electronics, Bashkir State University, Ufa, Russian Federation
b Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Sendai, 980-77, Japan
The current status of studies and new trends in obtaining and exploring surface characteristics of III-nitride semiconductors are analyzed and reviewed. Using a unique setup combining a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) with an inline molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) chamber, the surface atomic structures on both hexagonal and cubic GaN films grown by nitrogen-plasma-assisted MBE have been studied in situ over a broad range of temperatures and [N]/[Ga] ratios.
Models of the observed surface phases are developed based on the comparative analysis of their atomic-resolution STM images and ab initio total energy calculations.