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Cu diffusion-induced vacancy-like defects in freestanding GaN

: Elsayed, M.; Krause-Rehberg, R.; Moutanabbir, O.; Anwand, W.; Richter, S.; Hagendorf, C.

Postprint (PDF; )

New journal of physics. Online journal 13 (2011), January, Art. 013029, 13 pp.
ISSN: 1367-2630
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IWM ()

Positron annihilation spectroscopy was employed to elucidate the nature and thermal behavior of defects induced by Cu in freestanding GaN crystals. Cu atoms were intentionally introduced in GaN lattice through thermally activated diffusion from an ultrathin Cu capping layer. During isochronal annealing of the obtained Cu-doped GaN in the temperature range of 450-850 K, vacancy clusters were found to form, grow and finally vanish. Doppler broadening measurements demonstrate the presence of vacancy-like defects across the 600 nm-thick layer below the surface corresponding to the Cu-diffused layer as evidenced by secondary ion mass spectrometry. A more qualitative characterization of these defects was accomplished by positron lifetime measurements. We found that annealing at 450 K triggers the formation of divacancies, whereas further increase of the annealing temperature up to 550 K leads to the formation of large clusters of about 60 vacancies. Our observations suggest t hat the formation of these vacancy-like defects in bulk GaN is related to the out-diffusion of Cu.