Skip to Main Content
Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.1455698
The nucleation and microstructure of large-scale columnar domains present in hydride vapor phase epitaxial (HPVE)-GaN layers grown directly on sapphire have been studied using cathodoluminescence and transmission electron microscopy. The domains are distributed in a quasicontinuous layer close to the GaN/sapphire interface. The domain boundaries are found to be associated with stacking mismatch defects. They are initiated at steps on the sapphire surface and are formed between nucleation islands growing on adjacent terraces. The formation of these domains in the initial stages of HVPE-GaN heteroepitaxial growth is proposed to play an important role in the strain relaxation mechanism. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.