Wet thermal oxidation of GaN

E. D. Readinger, S. D. Wolter, D. L. Waltemyer, J. M. Delucca, S. E. Mohney, B. I. Prenitzer, L. A. Giannuzzi, R. J. Molnar

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63 Scopus citations


Thermal oxidation of GaN was conducted at 700-900 °C with O2, N2, and Ar as carrier gases for 525-630 Torr of H2O vapor. Upon oxidation of both GaN powders and n-GaN epilayers, the monoclinic β-Ga2O3 phase was identified using glancing angle x-ray diffraction. The chemical composition of the oxide was verified using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. In experiments conducted using GaN powder, the oxide grew most rapidly when O2 was the carrier gas for H2O. The same result was obtained on n-type GaN epilayers. Furthermore, the thickness of the oxide grown in H2O with O2 as the carrier gas was found to be proportional to the oxidation time at all temperatures studied, and an activation energy of 210±10 kJ/mol was obtained. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a smoother surface after wet oxidation than was reported previously for dry oxidation. However, cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy revealed that the wet oxide/GaN interface was irregular and non-ideal for device fabrication, even more so than the dry oxide/GaN interface. This observation was consistent with poor electrical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-260
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999
EventProceedings of the 1998 40th Electronic Materials Conference, EMC-98 - Charlottesville, VA, USA
Duration: Jun 24 1998Jun 26 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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