When lattice matched to GaN, the AlInN ternary alloy has a refractive index ~7% lower than that of GaN. This characteristic can be exploited to perform in situ reflectometry during epitaxial growth of GaN-based multilayer structures on free-standing GaN substrates, by insertion of a suitable Al0.82In0.18N layer. The real-time information on growth rates and cumulative layer thicknesses thus obtainable is particularly valuable in the growth of optical resonant cavity structures. We illustrate this capability with reference to the growth of InGaN/GaN multiple quantum-well structures, including a doubly periodic structure with relatively thick GaN spacer layers between groups of wells. Al0.82In0.18N insertion layers can also assist in the fabrication of resonant cavity structures in postgrowth processing, for example, acting as sacrificial layers in a lift-off process exploiting etch selectivity between Al0.82In0.18N and GaN.
- applied physics
- GAN layers