High-temperature annealing of AlN films grown on 4H-SiC
The effect of high-temperature annealing (HTA) at 1700 °C on AlN films grown on 4H-SiC substrates by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy has been studied. It is shown that the structural quality of the AlN layers improves significantly after HTA similar to what has been demonstrated for AlN grown on sapphire. Dislocation densities reduce by one order of magnitude resulting in 8 × 108 cm-2 for a-type and 1 × 108 cm-2 for c-type dislocations. The high-temperature treatment removes pits from the surface by dissolving nanotubes and dislocations in the material. XRD measurements prove that the residual strain in AlN/4H-SiC is further relaxed after annealing. AlN films grown at higher temperature resulting in a lower as-grown defect density show only a marginal reduction in dislocation density after annealing. Secondary ion mass spectrometry investigation of impurity concentrations reveals an increase of Si after HTA probably due to in-diffusion from the SiC substrate. However, C concentration reduces considerably with HTA that points to an efficient carbon removal process (i.e., CO formation). © 2020 Author(s).