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Standard-free composition measurements of Alx In1–xN by low-loss electron energy loss spectroscopy



We demonstrate a standard-free method to retrieve compositional information in Alx In1–xN thin films by measuring the bulk plasmon energy (Ep), employing electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) in a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). Two series of samples were grown by magnetron sputter epitaxy (MSE) and metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE), which together cover the full com- positional range 0 ≤ x ≤ 1. Complementary compositional measurements were obtained using Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS) and the lattice parameters were obtained by X-ray diffraction (XRD). It is shown that Ep follows a linear relation with respect to composition and lattice parameter between the alloying elements from AlN to InN allowing for straightforward compositional analysis. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)