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Correlated scanning Kelvin probe and conductive atomic force microscopy studies of dislocations in gallium nitride


Scanning Kelvin probe microscopy (SKPM) and conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) have been used to image surfaces of GaN grown by molecular beam epitaxy. Detailed analysis of the same area using both techniques allowed imaging and comparison of both surface potential variations arising from the presence of negatively charged threading dislocations and localized current leakage paths associated with dislocations. Correlations between the charge state of dislocations, conductivity of current leakage paths, and dislocation type were thereby established. Analysis of correlated SKPM and C-AFM images revealed a density of negatively charged features of similar to3 x 10(8) cm(-2) and a localized current leakage path density of similar to3 x 10(7) cm(-2), With approximately 25% of the leakage paths spatially correlated with negatively charged dislocation features. Based on correlated topography and previous studies quantifying the densities of edge, screw, and mixed dislocations, our results suggested that dislocations having an edge component behave as though negatively charged while pure screw dislocations are solely responsible for the observed leakage paths and are uncharged. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.

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