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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pyramidal Defects in GaN:Mg Grown with Ga Polarity


Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies show formation of different types of Mg-rich defects in GaN. Types of defects strongly depend on crystal growth polarity. For bulk crystals grown with N-polarity, the planar defects are distributed at equal distances (20 unit cells of GaN). For growth with Ga-polarity (for both bulk and MOCVD grown crystals) a different type of defects have been found. These defects are three-dimensional Mg-rich hexagonal pyramids (or trapezoids) with their base on the (0001) plane and six walls formed on 1123 planes. The defects appear in [1120] and [1100] cross-section TEM micrographs as triangular and trapezoidal with sides inclined at 43 and 47 degrees to the base depending on the above observation directions, respectively. The dimension of these pyramids varies depending on growth method (50-1000 Angstrom), but the angle between the base and their sides remain the same. The direction from the tip of the pyramid to its base (and from the shorter to the longer base for trapezoidal defects) is along the Ga to N matrix bond direction. Analysis of the reconstructed exit wave phase image from the pyramid side indicates a shift of Ga atomic column positions from the matrix to the N position within the pyramid. In this way a 0.6+-0.2 Angstrom displacement can be measured on the pyramid side between Ga positions in the matrix and within the pyramid.

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