Polycrystalline gallium nitride (GaN) thin films were deposited on Si (100) substrates via plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) under optimal deposition parameters. In this work, we focus on the research of the GaN/Si (100) interfacial properties. The x-ray reflectivity measurements show the clearly-resolved fringes for all the as-grown GaN films, which reveals a perfectly smooth interface between the GaN film and Si (100), and this feature of sharp interface is further confirmed by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). However, an amorphous interfacial layer (~2 nm) can be observed from the HRTEM images, and is determined to be mixture of Ga x O y and GaN by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. To investigate the effect of this interlayer on the GaN growth, an AlN buffer layer was employed for GaN deposition. No interlayer is observed between GaN and AlN, and GaN shows better crystallization and lower oxygen impurity during the initial growth stage than the GaN with an interlayer.
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