Exploring the Size Limitations of Wurtzite III-V Film Growth
Metastable crystal phases of abundant semiconductors such as III-Vs, Si, or Ge comprise enormous potential to address current limitations in green light-emitting electrical diodes (LEDs) and group IV photonics. At the same time, these nonconventional polytypes benefit from the chemical similarity to their stable counterparts, which enables the reuse of established processing technology. One of the main challenges is the very limited availability and the small crystal sizes that have been obtained so far. In this work, we explore the limitations of wurtzite (WZ) film epitaxy on the example of InP. We develop a novel method to switch and maintain a metastable phase during a metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy process based on epitaxial lateral overgrowth and compare it with standard selective area epitaxy techniques. We achieve unprecedented large WZ layer dimensions exceeding 100 μm2 and prove their phase purity both by optical as well as structural characterization. On the basis of our observations, we further develop a nucleation-based model and argue on a fundamental size limitation of WZ film growth. Our findings may pave the way toward crystal phase engineered LEDs for highly efficient lighting and display applications.