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Investigation of interface abruptness and In content in (In,Ga)N/GaN superlattices
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We investigate designed InN/GaN superlattices
grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy on c-plane GaN templates in situ by line-of-sight quadrupole mass spectroscopy and laser reflectivity, and ex situ by scanning transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and photoluminescence (PL). The structural methods reveal concordantly the different interface abruptness of SLs resulting from growth processes with different parameters. Particularly crucial for the formation of abrupt interfaces is the Ga to N ratio that has to be bigger than 1 during the growth of the GaN barriers, as Ga-excess GaN
growth aims at preventing the unintentional incorporation of In accumulated on the growth surface after the supply of InN, that extends the (In,Ga)N quantum well
(QW) thickness. Essentially, even with GaN barriers grown under Ga-excess yielding to 1 monolayer (ML) thick QWs, there is a real discrepancy between the designed binary InN and the actual ternary (In,Ga)N ML thick QWs revealed by the above methods. The PL emission line of the sample with atomically abrupt interfaces peaks at 366 nm, which is consistent with the In content measured to be less than 10%.
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