Research ArticleENGINEERING

Crystal orientation dictated epitaxy of ultrawide-bandgap 5.4- to 8.6-eV α-(AlGa)2O3 on m-plane sapphire

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Science Advances  08 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 2, eabd5891
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd5891


Ultrawide-bandgap semiconductors are ushering in the next generation of high-power electronics. The correct crystal orientation can make or break successful epitaxy of such semiconductors. Here, it is found that single-crystalline layers of α-(AlGa)2O3 alloys spanning bandgaps of 5.4 to 8.6 eV can be grown by molecular beam epitaxy. The key step is found to be the use of m-plane sapphire crystal. The phase transition of the epitaxial layers from the α- to the narrower bandgap β-phase is catalyzed by the c-plane of the crystal. Because the c-plane is orthogonal to the growth front of the m-plane surface of the crystal, the narrower bandgap pathways are eliminated, revealing a route to much wider bandgap materials with structural purity. The resulting energy bandgaps of the epitaxial layers span a broad range, heralding the successful epitaxial stabilization of the largest bandgap materials family to date.

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