Comparison of GaN and AlN nucleation layers for the oriented growth of GaN on diamond substrates
G.W.G. van Dreumel, T. Bohnen, J.G. Buijnsters, W.J.P. van Enckevort, J.J. ter Meulen, P.R. Hageman and E. Vlieg
a Institute for Molecules and Materials, Radboud University Nijmegen, Heijendaalseweg 135, 6525 AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands

In this study, {0001} oriented GaN crystals have been grown on freestanding, polycrystalline diamond substrates using AlN and GaN nucleation layers (NLs). XRD measurements and SEM analysis showed that the application of a thin AlN NL gives the best structural results, because AlN has a thermal expansion coefficient in between GaN and diamond and thus delocalizes the stress to two interfaces. The optical quality of the layers, investigated with Raman microscopy and photoluminescence spectroscopy, is similar. Although no lateral epitaxy is obtained, new insight is gained on the nucleation of GaN on diamond substrates facilitating the growth of GaN epilayers on polycrystalline diamond substrates.