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Epitaxially grown gallium nitride thin films were deposited on sapphire(0001) substrates with a thin zinc oxide buffer layer by a liquid target pulsed laser deposition technique. The GaN thin film optimized at a substrate temperature of 600 °C has an epitaxial relationship with ZnO buffered sapphire(0001) of (0001)GaN//(0001)ZnO//(0001)sapphire, and (101¯0)GaN//(101¯0)ZnO//(112¯0)sapphire. The surface morphology was also improved by applying a ZnO buffer layer shown by scanning electron microscopy. Although the as-grown GaN thin film showed no band edge or yellow band photoluminescence at room temperature, a weak band edge luminescence of 3.42 eV could be seen at 20 K. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.
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