Ex situ and in situ methods for oxide and carbon removal from AlN and GaN surfaces

Sean W. King, Laura L. Smith, John P. Barnak, Ja Hum Ku, Jim A. Christman, Mark C. Benjamin, Michael D. Bremser, Robert Nemanich, Robert F. Davis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

24 Scopus citations


Exposure to numerous acids and bases and UV/O 3 oxidation were used to determine the best ex situ cleaning techniques for the (0001) surfaces of AlN and GaN. HF and HCl were the most effective in removing the oxide from AlN and GaN, respectively. However, AES and XPS revealed the surfaces to be terminated with F and Cl which inhibited re-oxidation prior to loading into vacuum. TPD showed that temperatures of 650 and 850°C are necessary to thermally desorb the Cl and F, respectively. UV/O 3 oxidation in air was not effective in removing hydrocarbons from either surface but was effective for oxide growth. In situ remote hydrogen plasma exposure at 450°C removed halogens and hydrocarbons remaining after ex situ cleaning of both AlN and GaN surfaces; however, oxide free surfaces could not be achieved. Thermal desorption of hydrocarbons from GaN in UHV was achieved at 650°C. Complete thermal desorption of the surface oxide in UHV was only achieved at temperatures > 800°C where some GaN decomposition occurred. Annealing GaN in NH 3 at 700°C reduced the surface oxide without loss of surface stoichiometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1995 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Nov 26 1995Dec 1 1995


OtherProceedings of the 1995 MRS Fall Meeting
CityBoston, MA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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