HCl Flow-Induced Phase Change of α-, β-, and ε-Ga2O3 Films Grown by MOCVD

Haiding Sun, Kuang-Hui Li, C. G. Torres Castanedo, Serdal Okur, Gary S. Tompa, Tom Salagaj, Sergei Lopatin, Alessandro Genovese, Xiaohang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Precise control of the heteroepitaxy on a low-cost foreign substrate is often the key to drive the success of fabricating semiconductor devices in scale when a large low-cost native substrate is not available. Here, we successfully synthesized three different phases of Ga2O3 (α, β, and ε) films on c-plane sapphire by only tuning the flow rate of HCl along with other precursors in an MOCVD reactor. A 3-fold increase in the growth rate of pure β-Ga2O3 was achieved by introducing only 5 sccm of HCl flow. With continuously increased HCl flow, a mixture of β- and ε-Ga2O3 was observed, until the Ga2O3 film transformed completely to a pure ε-Ga2O3 with a smooth surface and the highest growth rate (∼1 μm/h) at a flow rate of 30 sccm. At 60 sccm, we found that the film tended to have a mixture of α- and ε-Ga2O3 with a dominant α-Ga2O3, while the growth rate dropped significantly (∼0.4 μm/h). The film became rough as a result of the mixture phases since the growth rate of ε-Ga2O3 is much higher than that of α-Ga2O3. In this HCl-enhanced MOCVD mode, the Cl impurity concentration was almost identical among the investigated samples. On the basis of our density functional theory calculation, we found that the relative energy between β-, ε-, and α-Ga2O3 became smaller, thus inducing the phase change by increasing the HCl flow in the reactor. Thus, it is plausible that the HCl acted as a catalyst during the phase transformation process. Furthermore, we revealed the microstructure and the epitaxial relationship between Ga2O3 with different phases and the c-plane sapphire substrates. Our HCl-enhanced MOCVD approach paves the way to achieving highly controllable heteroepitaxy of Ga2O3 films with different phases for device applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2370-2376
Number of pages7
JournalCrystal Growth & Design
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 6 2018


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