Atom probe tomography study of GaMnN thin films

Authors

  • Robert Nicholas,

    1. School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Oklahoma, 110 W Boyd St Rm 150, Norman, OK 73019, USA
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  • David Diercks,

    1. Center for Advanced Research and Technology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203, USA
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  • Matthew Kane

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Oklahoma, 110 W Boyd St Rm 150, Norman, OK 73019, USA
    • School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Oklahoma, 110 W Boyd St Rm 150, Norman, OK 73019, USA
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Abstract

Determining the nanoscale atomic distribution of transition metals is essential for understanding the magnetic behavior of III-nitride semiconductors. Atom probe tomography is a characterization technique that can provide direct physical detection of the location of atoms and thus is ideal for investigating nanoscale atomic ordering in these materials. This work presents a study of GaMnN thin films grown bymetalorganic chemical vapor deposition that are characterized utilizing the state of the art local electrode atom probe (LEAP™) to determine the atomic ordering of Mn in an effort to help understand the nanoclustering behaviour which leads to observed room-temperature ferromagnetic behaviour in GaMnN. The distribution of Mn on the atomic scale was found to be random in nature in the bulk of the thin film where the analysis was performed with no evidence for the predisposition of Mn to form dimers, trimers or clusters. Other sources of clustering must lead to the room-temperature ferromagnetic behaviour that has been observed in these samples, such as surface segregation of Mn during the growth process. This work proves consistent with prior magnetic analysis in that most atoms in the crystal are isolated Mn atoms which result in a paramagnetic signal. This work is a first step towards the ultimate goal of understanding the structure-property-growth condition relationships for the tailoring of specific MOCVD processes in nitride semiconductors. (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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