Preparation and characterization of atomically clean, stoichiometric surfaces of AIN(0001)

W. J. Mecouch, B. P. Wagner, Z. J. Reitmeier, R. F. Davis, C. Pandarinath, B. J. Rodriguez, R. J. Nemanich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In situ exposure of the (0001) surface of AlN thin films to flowing ammonia at 1120 °C and 10-4 Torr removes oxygenhydroxide and hydrocarbon species below the detectable limits of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and decreases the AlN ratio from 1.3 to 1.0. The positions of the Al 2p and the N 1s core level peaks acquired from the cleaned surfaces were 75.0±0.1 eV and 398.2±0.1 eV, respectively, which were similar to the values determined for the as-loaded samples. The cleaning process left unchanged the (1×1) low energy electron diffraction pattern, the step-and-terrace microstructure, and the root mean square roughness values observed for the surfaces of the as-loaded samples; i.e., the surface structure and microstructure were not changed by the high-temperature exposure to ammonia at low pressures. Vacuum annealing under 10-7 Torr at 1175 °C for 15 min removed all detectable hydrocarbons; however, it did not remove the oxygenhydroxide species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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