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Proceedings Paper

Stress related aspects of GaN technology physics
Author(s): Ephraim Suhir
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Paper Abstract

Simple, easy-to-use and physically meaningful analytical models have been developed for the assessment of the combined effect of the lattice and thermal mismatch on the induced stresses in an elongated bi-material assembly, as well as on the thermal mismatch on the thermal stresses in a tri-material assembly, in which the lattice mismatched stresses are eliminated in one way or another. This could be done, e.g., by using a polished or an etched substrate. The analysis is carried out in application to Gallium Nitride (GaN)-Silicon Carbide (SiC) and GaN-diamond (C) filmsubstrate assemblies. The calculated data are obtained, assuming that no annealing or other stress reduction means is applied. The data agree reasonably well with the reported (available) in-situ measurements. The most important conclusion from the computed data is that even if a reasonably good lattice match takes place (as, e.g., in the case of a GaN film fabricated on a SiC substrate, when the mismatch strain is only about 3%) and, in addition, the temperature change (from the fabrication/growth temperature to the operation temperature) is significant (as high as 1000 ̊C), the thermal stresses are still considerably lower than the lattice-mismatch stresses. Although there are structural and technological means for further reduction of the lattice-mismatch stresses (e.g., by high temperature annealing or by providing one or more buffering layers, or by using patterned or porous substrates), there is still a strong incentive to eliminate completely the lattice mismatch stresses. This seems to be indeed possible, if polished or otherwise flattened (e.g., chemically etched) substrates and sputter deposited GaN film is employed. In such a case only thermal stresses remain, but even these could be reduced, if necessary, by using compliant buffering layers, including layers of variable compliance, or by introducing variable compliance into the properly engineered substrate. In any event, it is expected that strong adhesion could be achieved by using an appropriate fabrication technology, so that no GaN film cracking would be possible, if the film is in tension, or delamination buckling could occur if the film is in compression. The developed models can be used to assess the possibilities and opportunities associated with GaN materials technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 March 2015
PDF: 23 pages
Proc. SPIE 9363, Gallium Nitride Materials and Devices X, 93630P (13 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2074963
Show Author Affiliations
Ephraim Suhir, Portland State Univ. (United States)
ERS Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9363:
Gallium Nitride Materials and Devices X
Jen-Inn Chyi; Hiroshi Fujioka; Hadis Morkoç, Editor(s)

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