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Nanotechnology. 2018 Aug 3;29(31):315603. doi: 10.1088/1361-6528/aac414. Epub 2018 May 11.

Formation of spherical-shaped GaN and InN quantum dots on curved SiN/Si surface.

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Department of Electronic and Information Materials Engineering, Division of Advanced Materials Engineering, and Research Center of Advanced Materials Development (RCAMD), Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Republic of Korea.


This paper reports the formation of GaN and InN quantum dots (QDs) with symmetric spherical shapes, grown on SiN/Si(111). Spherical QDs are grown by modulating initial growth behavior via gallium and indium droplets functioning as nucleation sites for QDs. Field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) images show that GaN and InN QDs are formed on curved SiN/Si(111) instead of on a flat surface similar to balls on a latex mattress. This is considerably different from the structural properties of In(Ga)As QDs grown on GaAs or InP. In addition, considering the shape of the other III-V semiconductor QDs, the QDs in this study are very close to the ideal shape of zero-dimensional nanostructures. Transmission-electron microscope images show the formation of symmetric GaN and InN QDs with a round shape, agreeing well with the FE-SEM results. Compared to other III-V semiconductor QDs, the unique structural properties of Si-based GaN and InN QDs are strongly related to the modulation in the initial nucleation characteristics due to the presence of droplets, the degree of lattice mismatch between GaN or InN and SiN/Si(111), and the melt-back etching phenomenon.


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