Imaging and identifying defects in nitride semiconductor thin films using a scanning electron microscope

G. Naresh-Kumar, Benjamin Hourahine, A. Vilalta-Clemente, P. Ruterana, P. Gamarra, C. Lacam, M. Tordjman, M. A. di Forte-Poisson, P. J. Parbrook, A. P. Day, G. England, Carol Trager-Cowan

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18 Citations (Scopus)


We describe the use of electron channelling contrast imaging (ECCI) – in a field emission scanning electron microscope – to reveal and identify defects in nitride semiconductor thin films. In ECCI changes in crystallographic orientation, or changes in lattice constant due to local strain, are revealed by changes in grey scale in an image constructed by monitoring the intensity of backscattered electrons as an electron beam is scanned over a suitably oriented sample. Extremely small orientation changes are detectable, enabling small angle tilt and rotation boundaries and dislocations to be imaged. Images with a resolution of tens of nanometres are obtainable with ECCI. In this paper we describe the use of ECCI with TEM to determine threading dislocation densities and types in InAlN/GaN heterostructures grown on SiC and sapphire substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-426
Number of pages3
JournalPhysica Status Solidi A
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012



  • dislocations
  • electron channelling
  • SEM

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