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The surface morphology of GaN epitaxial films grown by plasma-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy has been investigated. We found that the surface morphology was sensitive to the N to Ga flux ratio (N/Ga) when grown at a high temperature (i.e., 788 °C). At that temperature, we did not observe large sized Ga droplets on the surface even at Ga-rich conditions. Furthermore, we found a transition from two-dimensional (2D) to three-dimensional (3D) growth in the intermediate Ga-stable regime. The slope of the growth rate was different: Slope=(0.39±0.06) was observed in the 2D-growth mode and (0.14±0.03) in the 3D-growth mode. In the high N/Ga ratio, the total dislocation concentration was reduced, and the mixed threading dislocation concentration had a minimum value at N/Ga=22.5. By comparing with the Hall carrier concentration results, we found that the mixed threading dislocations influence the number of electronic carriers. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.
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