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Keywords:

  • semiconductors;
  • reactor analysis;
  • flow recirculation onset;
  • metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy;
  • design criteria

Preventing flow recirculation during the epitaxial deposition of thin films of compound semiconductors is essential for growing multilayer films with atomically abrupt interfaces that form a basis for modern optoelectronic devices. A mathematical model describing mass continuity, flow and heat transfer in a vertical rotating-disc chemical vapor deposition reactor is used to investigate the onset of buoyancy- and inertia-driven flow recirculation. Numerical simulations of axisymmetric flow patterns are performed and different regimes of operation are identified in the parameter space defined by the Reynolds number, the rotational Reynolds number, and the Grashof number. Design criteria for establishing recirculation-free flows in reactors used for metalorganic vapor-phase epitaxy (MOVPE) of compound semiconductors are presented. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 3530–3538, 2013