Novel synthetic pathways to wide bandgap semiconductors in the Si-C-Al-N system

John Tolle, Radek Roucka, Andrew Chizmeshya, Peter Crozier, David Smith, Ignatius S T Tsong, John Kouvetakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Epitaxial SiCAlN films with single-phase wurtzite structures were grown by molecular beam epitaxy via reactions of a specifically designed molecular precursor H3SiCN and Al atoms at 750°C, considerably below the miscibility gap of SiC and AlN at 1900°C. The film growth was conducted directly on Si(111) despite the 19% lattice mismatch between the two materials. Commensurate heteroepitaxy was facilitated by the conversion of native and thermally grown SiO2 layers into crystalline Si-Al-N-O interfaces in registry with the Si(111) surface. This crystalline interface acted as a template for nucleation and growth of SiCAlN. Integration of wide bandgap semiconductors including AlN and GaN with Si was achieved by this process. Perfectly epitaxial SiCAlN was also grown on 6H-SiC(0001) substrates and exhibited novel crystallographic and physical properties such as hexagonal structures with 2H/2H and 4H/2H SiC/AlN stacking, metastable cubic structures, wide bandgaps in the UV, and extreme mechanical hardness. These properties have been measured by a wide range of characterization techniques and ab initio density functional theory simulations have been used to elucidate the structural and spectroscopic behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1509-1519
Number of pages11
JournalSolid State Sciences
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 2002


  • Optical materials
  • Superhard coatings
  • Wide bandgap semiconductor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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