Influence of dopants and substrate material on the formation of Ga vacancies in epitaxial GaN layers

J. Oila, V. Ranki, J. Kivioja, K. Saarinen, Pekka Hautojärvi, Jari Likonen, J. Baranowski, T. Pakula, T. Suski, M. Leszcynski, I. Grzegory

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    109 Citations (Scopus)


    We have applied a low-energy positron beam and secondary ion mass spectrometry to study defects in homoepitaxial and heteroepitaxial GaN layers. Positron experiments reveal high concentrations of Ga vacancies in nominally undoped n-type GaN, where the conductivity is due to unintentional oxygen incorporation. Ga vacancies are observed in both homoepitaxial and heteroepitaxial layers, indicating that their formation is independent of the dislocation density. No Ga vacancies are detected in p-type or semi-insulating samples doped with Mg, as predicted by the theoretical formation energies. In samples where n-type conductivity is due to Si doping and the incorporation of oxygen impurities is suppressed, the concentration of Ga vacancies is much lower than in n-type samples containing oxygen. This indicates that the presence of oxygen donor in GaN promotes the formation of Ga vacancy. We suggest that this effect is due to the creation of VGa−ON complexes during the epitaxial growth.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number045205
    Number of pages8
    JournalPhysical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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