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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Nov 13;5(21):11074-9. doi: 10.1021/am4032345. Epub 2013 Oct 28.

Mechanical properties of nanoporous GaN and its application for separation and transfer of GaN thin films.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut 06520, United States .


Nanoporous (NP) gallium nitride (GaN) as a new class of GaN material has many interesting properties that the conventional GaN material does not have. In this paper, we focus on the mechanical properties of NP GaN, and the detailed physical mechanism of porous GaN in the application of liftoff. A decrease in elastic modulus and hardness was identified in NP GaN compared to the conventional GaN film. The promising application of NP GaN as release layers in the mechanical liftoff of GaN thin films and devices was systematically studied. A phase diagram was generated to correlate the initial NP GaN profiles with the as-overgrown morphologies of the NP structures. The fracture toughness of the NP GaN release layer was studied in terms of the voided-space-ratio. It is shown that the transformed morphologies and fracture toughness of the NP GaN layer after overgrowth strongly depends on the initial porosity of NP GaN templates. The mechanical separation and transfer of a GaN film over a 2 in. wafer was demonstrated, which proves that this technique is useful in practical applications.

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