(19)
(11)EP 2 248 931 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
25.02.2015 Bulletin 2015/09

(21)Application number: 10007964.9

(22)Date of filing:  12.08.2002
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C30B 23/00  (2006.01)
C30B 29/40  (2006.01)
C30B 33/00  (2006.01)
H01L 33/00  (2010.01)
C30B 25/00  (2006.01)
C30B 25/02  (2006.01)
H01L 21/02  (2006.01)
C30B 25/18  (2006.01)

(54)

METHOD OF FORMING A FREE-STANDING (Al,Ga,In)N ARTICLE

VERFAHREN ZUR HERSTELLUNG EINES FREISTEHENDEN GEGENSTANDS AUS (Al, Ga, In)N

PROCÉDÉ POUR FORMER UN ARTICLE DE (Al, Ga, In)N AUTOSUPPORTÉ


(84)Designated Contracting States:
FR GB

(30)Priority: 05.09.2001 US 947253

(43)Date of publication of application:
10.11.2010 Bulletin 2010/45

(60)Divisional application:
10011142.6 / 2287368

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
02757061.3 / 1423259

(73)Proprietor: Cree, Inc.
Durham, NC 27703 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Vaudo, Robert P.
    Cary, NC 27519 (US)
  • Brandes, George R.
    Southbury, CT 06488 (US)
  • Tischler, Michael A.
    Phoenix, AZ 85028 (US)
  • Kelly, Michael K.
    71229 Leonberg (DE)

(74)Representative: Golding, Louise Ann 
Dehns St Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 0 966 047
US-A- 5 679 152
WO-A-01/68955
  
  • KELLY M K ET AL: "LARGE FREE-STANDING GAN SUBSTRATES BY HYDRIDE VAPOR PHASE EPITAXY AND LASER-INDUCED LIFTOFF", JAPANESE JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, JAPAN SOCIETY OF APPLIED PHYSICS, TOKYO, JP, vol. 38, no. 3A, 1 March 1999 (1999-03-01) , pages L217-L219, XP000905946, ISSN: 0021-4922
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


Field of the Invention



[0001] Described herein is methodology for forming a free-standing article, and the free-standing article thereby formed. Further described herein are free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N articles, and to methods of forming same by interfacial separation of (Al, Ga, In)N from a base material or layer on which the (Al, Ga, In)N has been grown, to yield the separated (Al, Ga, In)N material as a free-standing body suitable for fabrication of microelectronic or optoelectronic devices.

Description of the Related Art



[0002] U.S. Patent 5,679,152 describes the production of a free-standing (AI,Ga,In)N single crystal article on an epitaxially-compatible sacrificial template, in which a layer of single crystal (AI,Ga,In)N is deposited on the template, and sacrificial template is removed at or near the growth temperature to leave free-standing (AI,Ga,In)N.

[0003] This method produces a low defect density (e.g., < 107 defects/cm2) material as a result of the absence of thermal coefficient of expansion (TCE) differences associated with the substrate when a heteroepitaxial substrate material is used for the template, since the template is removed in situ. As a result, the internal stresses incident to the mismatch of TCE that normally accompany the cool-down of heteroepitaxial materials and that cause cracking and morphological defects, are avoided.

[0004] Kelly, M.K., et al., "Large Free-Standing GaN Substrates by Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy and Laser-Induced Liftoff," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 38, No. 3A (1999) pp. L217-L219, discloses the production of free-standing GaN from a GaN film grown by hydride vapor phase epitaxy on a sapphire substrate, in which a sequentially scanned pulsed laser is used to thermally decompose a thin layer of GaN at the film-substrate interface. Post-growth bowing is relieved by performing such laser-induced liftoff at elevated temperatures.

[0005] WO O1/68955 discloses III-V nitride substrate boules (or ingots) formed by vapor phase growth and methods of making such boules. At pages 14-15 thereof, D3 discloses that optical liftoff separation of an (AI,Ga,In)N film formed on a dissimilar substrate (such as sapphire) may be accomplished by interface decomposition induced by photonic energy, such as by laser-induced heating of a thin region of GaN at a GaN/sapphire interface to produce free-standing GaN.

[0006] EP 0966047A discloses formation of a mask having periodically arranged windows over a GaAs undersubstrate, forming a thin GaN buffer layer in the windows of the mask by a vapor phase process at low temperature, growing a GaN epitaxial layer on the buffer layer and mask by a vapor phase process at high temperature, and then etching, the GaAs layer and mask away, and obtaining a free-standing GaN single crystal substrate. Thereafter, a thick GaN single crystal ingot may be formed upon the GaN wafer made by the previous process as a seed.

[0007] Described herein are free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N articles, and formation of same by growth of (Al, Ga, In)N material on a sacrificial template, and interfacial separation of the (Al, Ga, In)N material from the template, to yield device-quality single crystal (Al, Ga, In)N free-standing articles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0008] The present invention relates to a method of forming a free-standing (Al,Ga,In)N article.

[0009] Disclosed herein is a method of forming a free-standing article, including depositing on a substrate a material of construction for the free-standing article, to form a material/substrate composite article including an interface between the substrate and the material, and interfacially modifying the composite material/substrate article to part the substrate from the material and yield the free-standing article.

[0010] The modification of the interface may be carried out at elevated temperature, e.g., an elevated temperature within 500°C of the temperature at which the material of construction for the free-standing article is formed on the substrate, and before the material/substrate composite article is cooled from elevated temperature to a lower temperature, e.g., ambient temperature. According to such method, the temperature at which the material of construction is formed on the substrate may for example be 600°C or more.

[0011] The interface of the composite material/substrate article is the three-dimensional region between the substrate material and the material of construction for the free-standing article. The interface depth is a function of the interfacial modification process and the area of the interface is determined by the area of the composite material/substrate article. Typically the interface depth is 10-4 microns to 102 microns deep.

[0012] Further disclosed herein is a method of forming a free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N article, by the steps comprising:

providing an expitaxially compatible sacrificial template;

depositing single crystal (Al, Ga, In)N material on the template to form a composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article including an interface between the sacrificial template and the (Al, Ga, In)N material; and

interfacially modifying the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article to part the sacrificial template from the (Al, Ga, In)N material and yield the free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N article.



[0013] The interfacial modification of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article to part the sacrificial template from the (Al, Ga, In)N material and yield the free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N article may be carried out in a wide variety of ways, as disclosed more fully hereinafter, e.g., by energizing the interface to decompose interfacial material and induce physical separation of the template from the (Al, Ga, In)N before the (Al, Ga, In)N material is cooled to ambient temperature from an elevated temperature of the (Al, Ga, In)N deposition on the template.

[0014] Alternatively, the modification of the interface may be carried out to effect parting of the (Al, Ga, In)N article from the template by heating and/or cooling of the interface, by laser beam impingement on the interface, by use of an interlayer that facilitates parting, by other decomposition of the interfacial material, by generating gas at the interface, by sound exposure of the interface, by e-beam irradiation of the interface, by rf coupling of the interface, by etching, by selective weakening of interfacial material, or by other photonic, acoustic, physical, chemical, thermal or energetic processes.

[0015] The method may be carried out in situ or ex situ, in relation to the environment in which the (Al, Ga, In)N is deposited on the template, as described more fully hereinafter.

[0016] In one preferred method, the interfacial modification includes impinging laser energy on the interface through either the sacrificial template or the (Al, Ga, In)N material of the composite article.

[0017] The interfacial modification may be conducted to effect parting of the sacrificial template from the (Al, Ga, In)N material either at elevated temperature, e.g., the growth temperature of the (Al, Ga, In)N material on the template, or subsequent to cooling of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article to ambient temperature or some other temperature below the growth temperature of the (Al, Ga, In)N material on the template. In this manner, the method may be carried out in situ, i.e., with the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article maintained in the same environment in which deposition of the (Al, Ga, In)N material is carried out, or alternatively, the method may be carried out in an ex situ manner, in which the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article is removed from the growth environment and subjected to interface modification for parting of the sacrificial template and (Al, Ga, In)N, in another environment.

[0018] Further disclosed is a free-standing article produced by a method as described herein.

[0019] Further disclosed is a composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, including an interface between the sacrificial template and the (Al, Ga, In)N, wherein the article is at a temperature within 300°C of the growth temperature of the (Al, Ga, In)N, and the interface contains absorbed laser energy.

[0020] As used herein, the term "ambient temperature" refers to temperature below 40°C, e.g., room (∼25°C) temperature.

[0021] As used herein, the term "interfacial material" refers to any of the following: sacrificial template material at the interface or in the vicinity thereof; undoped or doped (Al, Ga, In)N material at the interface or in the vicinity thereof; or one or more interlayer materials at the interface or between the sacrificial template and the (Al, Ga, In)N material.

[0022] The term "(Al,Ga,In)N" as used herein is intended to be broadly construed to include respective nitrides of the single species, Al, Ga, and In, as well as binary, ternary and quaternary compositions of such Group III metal species. Accordingly, the term (Al, Ga, In)N comprehends the compounds AlN, GaN, and InN, as well as the ternary compounds AlGaN, GaInN, and AlInN, and the quaternary compound AlGaInN, as species included in such nomenclature. When two or more of the (Ga, Al, In) component species are present, all possible compositions, including stoichiometric proportions as well as "off-stoichiometric" proportions (with respect to the relative mole fractions present of each of the (Ga, Al, In) component species that are present in the composition), can be employed according to methods disclosed herein. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the discussion hereinafter in primary reference to GaN materials is applicable to the formation of various other (Al, Ga, In)N material species.

[0023] Various other aspects, features and embodiments of the invention will be more fully apparent from the ensuing disclosure and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0024] 

Figure 1 is a schematic depiction of the heating of a (Al,Ga,In)N - template interface by laser radiation.

Figures 2-4 show the lasing of a composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article from the top to the bottom of the article (Figures 2 and 3) to form a parted sacrificial template and free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N single crystal wafer (Figure 4).

Figure 5 is a top plan view of a composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article.

Figure 6 is a corresponding view of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article of Figure 5 during a rastering lasing operation, in which the laser beam is reciprocatingly traversed across the article, to effect interfacial separation of the sacrificial template from the (Al, Ga, In)N material, and yield a product (Al, Ga, In)N wafer article.

Figure 7 is a corresponding view of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article of Figure 6 during a perimeter lasing operation, in which the laser beam is translated in circular motion, beginning at the periphery of the article, and continuing successively in step-wise smaller-diameter circular arcs.

Figure 8 is a schematic depiction of a composite sacrificial template/interlayer/(Al, Ga, In)N article in which impinging laser energy is absorbed by the interlayer to effect decomposition thereof and release the sacrificial template layer from the (Al, Ga, In)N layer.

Figure 9 is a schematic depiction of a composite sacrificial template/interlayer/(Al, Ga, In)N article in which impinging laser energy absorbed by the interlayer induces degradation of the (Al, Ga, In)N material adjacent thereto, to effect separation of the sacrificial template from the (Al, Ga, In)N product layer.

Figure 10 is a schematic illustration of an apparatus for conducting growth of (Al,Ga,In)N by HVPE and transmission of laser light to the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article from the backside of the composite (through the template).

Figure 11 is a schematic representation of a portion of a growth and parting system using a cover plate on a wafer holder.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION, AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS THEREOF



[0025] The following United States Patents and United States Patent Applications provide context for formation of various (Al,In,Ga)N articles:

U.S. Patent Application No. 08/188,469 filed January 27, 1994 in the names of Michael A. Tischler, et al., now issued as U.S. Patent 5,679,152;

U.S. Patent Application No. 08/955,168 filed October 21, 1997 in the names of Michael A. Tischler, et al., subsequently published as U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2001/0008656;

U.S. Patent Application No. 08/984,473 filed December 3, 1997 in the names of Robert P. Vaudo, et al., now issued as U.S. Patent 6,156,581;

U.S. Patent Application No. 09/179,049 filed October 26, 1998 in the names of Robert P. Vaudo, et al., now issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,440,823;

U.S. Patent Application No. 09/524,062 filed March 13, 2000 in the names of Robert P. Vaudo, et al., now issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,596,079;

U.S. Patent Application No. 09/605,195 filed June 28, 2000 in the names of Jeffrey S. Flynn, et al. , now issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,447,604;

U.S. Patent Application No. 09/929,789 filed August 14, 2001 in the names of Michael A. Tischler, et al., now issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,972,051; and

U.S. Patent Application No. 09/933,943 filed August 21, 2001 in the names of Michael A. Tischler, et al., now issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,765,240.



[0026] The present invention relates to a method of forming a free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N article according to the steps recited in claim 1.

[0027] Further disclosed herein is a method of forming free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N material, including: providing an expitaxially compatible sacrificial template; depositing single crystal (Al, Ga, In)N material on the template; and parting the sacrificial template from the (Al, Ga, In)N material by modification of the (Al, Ga, In)N-template interface.

[0028] The modification of the interface may be carried out in any of numerous suitable ways, e.g., by heating the (Al, Ga, In)N-template interface before the (Al, Ga, In)N material is cooled to ambient temperature, by laser beam impingement of the interface, by use of an interlayer that facilitates parting, by decomposing interfacial material, by generating gas at the interface, by sound exposure of the interface, by e-beam irradiation of the interface, by rf coupling of the interface, by etching, by selective weakening of interfacial material or by other photonic, acoustic, physical, chemical, thermal or energetic processes. Acoustic processes may include sonic energy being directed at the interface, to which the interfacial material is preferentially susceptible for parting thereof, e.g., via an interlayer of specific sound energy-absorbing type. Chemical processes may include photodegradation of interfacial material, such as a photosensitive material disposed at the interface, which under photo-excitation conditions releases free-radicals to catalyze an interfacial decomposition reaction, or chemical etching where the interfacial material is preferentially susceptible to an etchant introduced in the environment of the sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N composite article. A wide variety of methods for parting the sacrificial template from the (Al, Ga, In)N material in the sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N composite article, will be apparent to those skilled in the art on the basis of the disclosure herein.

[0029] In methods disclosed herein, the (Al,Ga,In)N deposition can be carried out by any suitable process, including, without limitation, hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE), metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). U.S. Patent 5,679,152, U.S. Patent 6,156,581, U.S. Patent Application No. 09/179,049 (now issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,440,823) and U.S. Patent Application No. 09/524,062 (now issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,596,079) describe methods of forming (Al,Ga,In)N single crystal material with sufficient thickness to be self-supportive (i.e., free-standing) after parting from the template.

[0030] The free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N articles produced by the method of the present invention are suitable for use as substrates for the fabrication of microelectronic and/or optoelectronic devices or device precursor structures thereon. The free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N articles disclosed herein have three dimensional (x,y,z) character, and in certain instances, each of the dimensions x, y is at least 100 micrometers and the direction z is at least 1µm. A single crystal free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N article as disclosed herein may be of cylindrical or disc-shaped form, with diameter d and thickness z, where d is at least 100 µm and z is at least 1µm. More preferably, each of the dimensions d and z may be at least 200 micrometers. A single crystal free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N article as disclosed herein may have a thickness dimension z of at least 100 micrometers, and a diameter dimension which is at least 2.5 centimeters.

[0031] As discussed in the background section hereof, one particular advantage of removing the sacrificial template before cooling to ambient temperature, is that defects and cracking induced by TCE-differences is alleviated. To maximize this benefit it is beneficial to perform the parting operation within ±300 °C of the growth temperature. However, the parting temperature may also be controlled at the growth temperature, a temperature less than the growth temperature or a temperature greater than the growth temperature in order to manipulate TCE-differences and minimize (or control) thermal stresses in the material. Other conditions (e.g. pressure) of the growth process may be selectively controlled in the parting step as appropriate and as readily determinable by those skilled in the art on the basis of the disclosure herein.

[0032] In the parting process, the (Al,Ga,In)N - template interface is locally heated to induce decomposition of one material, leading to separation of the two materials (the template material and the (Al,Ga,In)N material).

[0033] A preferred method of heating the (Al,Ga,In)N - template interface is use of laser radiation, as schematically shown in Figure 1. The composite structure 10 comprises a sacrificial template 12 on which a (Al,Ga,In)N material 16 is grown, the template material and the (Al,Ga,In)N material forming an interface 14 therebetween. A coherent light beam 20 produced for example by a Nd:YAG laser (not shown in Figure 1) is transmitted through the sacrificial template 12, which is transparent to the chosen laser radiation, and impinges on the (Al, Ga, In)N material, which is opaque to the chosen laser light (3rd harmonic of Nd:YAG (355 nm) would only be absorbed in AlGaInN mateirals with Eg < 3.49 eV or so), at an impingement region 18 of the interface 14. The absorption of the laser energy in the opaque (Al, Ga, In)N material at its interface with the sacrificial template, causes chemical and/or physical change of material at the interface. The resulting deterioration of the interfacial material effects separation of the sacrificial template from the (Al,Ga,In)N material.

[0034] In one illustrative method, the sacrificial template is formed of sapphire, and a high energy laser beam is directed through the sapphire and absorbed in the (Al,Ga,In)N material, at sufficient beam power density to induce thermal decomposition in a thin interface layer of the (Al,Ga,In)N so that the (Al, Ga, In)N is released from the template as a free-standing (Al,Ga,In)N crystal. In this method, the light source has an energy greater than the bandgap of the (Al,Ga,In)N material so that it is efficiently absorbed, but less than the bandgap of the sapphire so that the light transmits through the sapphire. For example the 3rd harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser (355 nm) is suitable for GaN-sapphire system with a parting threshold of greater than 150 mJ/cm2 at 1000°C. The threshold laser power (which induces thermal decomposition or other physical and/or chemical degradative change) depends on many factors, including, but not limited to, the beam size and power distribution, the wavelength and absorption of the laser energy, the temperature at which parting is carried out, and the decomposition temperature of the material that is decomposing.

[0035] The primary laser beam characteristics usefully employed to achieve adequate parting of the (Al, Ga, In)N and template layers are:
  1. (i) laser photon energy greater that is greater than the bandgap of one of the (Al,Ga,In)N and sacrificial template materials, and less than the bandgap of the other material;
  2. (ii) laser power density that is sufficiently high to induce chemical and/or physical change of the interface material, so as to at least weaken interfacial adhesion of the respective template and (Al, Ga, In)N materials;
  3. (iii) short pulsing of the applied radiation to reduce thermal diffusion deeper into the material (beyond the interface), reduce the shock wave that emanates from the absorbed laser energy, and generally decrease the amount of physical and/or chemical changes in the product (Al, Ga, In)N material, thereby minimizing damage to the single crystal (Al, Ga, In)N product material;
  4. (iv) in conjunction with pulsing of the applied radiation, and optional scanning of the applied radiation beam on the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, utilizing a pulse rate that is effective to part the crystal area; and
  5. (v) although most beam profiles will work (Gaussian, Top Hat, etc,) a uniform, cylindrically symmetric and gradual transition from high (beam center) to low (beam edge) energy is desirable.


[0036] In respect of the beam profile, the better the beam quality (better collimated and closer to an ideal Gaussian beam profile) that is used, the longer the beam can retain suitable shape when passing through optics or traveling before reaching the sample. This factor is important, for example, if it is necessary or desired to locate the laser at a significant distance from the growth reactor or to use one laser unit to accommodate a multiplicity of (Al, Ga, In)N growth chambers (reactors). Beam homogenizers or diffusers located close to the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article (wafer) can be used to make the edge of the beam profile less distinct. A roughened quartz or matte finish at the backside of the template can be used to accomplish optional beam homogenization of the lasing energy that is focused on the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article.

[0037] To separate areas larger than the beam diameter, the laser beam can be scanned across the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, as shown in Figures 2, 3 and 4.

[0038] Scanning is best accomplished by providing a pathway for the released gases (produced by decomposition of the interface material, as a result of the impingement of the applied radiation) to escape from the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article. The thermal decomposition of (Al,Ga,In)N under applied laser energy will release N2 as a decomposition reaction product. N2 that is trapped at the interface, however, will induce non-uniform stresses that can cause cracking. Therefore, scanning advantageously is started at the edge of the wafer and progressed inwardly, so that released N2 readily escapes.

[0039] Figure 2 shows a composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article 10 in which the coherent light beam 20 transmitted through the sacrificial template 12, is translated from the top of the article 10 downwardly in the direction indicated by arrow A, so that the impinged region 18 has been decomposed to form a channel. As the light beam 20 moves down the interface 14, the N2 formed as a decomposition product escapes through the channel of the impinged region 18, out of the sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article 10.

[0040] Figure 3 shows the sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article 10 as the coherent light beam 20 is completing its traverse at the bottom edge of the article, completing the decomposition of the interface 14, and releasing the sacrificial template 12 from the (Al, Ga, In)N layer 16 so that the latter forms a free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N wafer product article, as shown in Figure 4.

[0041] The scan pattern of the laser beam during the impingement effecting parting of the sacrificial template and the (Al, Ga, In)N material involves translational movement of the laser beam in a predetermined pattern appropriate to the parting operation. For example, the laser beam can be conveniently rastered back and forth, and/or translated in a perimeter pattern (which is a circular pattern for most wafers). The rastering is accomplished by physically moving the wafer, by deflecting the laser beam, or a combination of both. Step sizes between laser pulses in a pulsed laser irradiation of the sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N interface can be from about 1 to about 200% of the laser beam spot size on the interface, but are more preferably from about 10 to about 50% of the laser spot size above the parting threshold.

[0042] Although strain is minimized by performing the laser parting near the growth temperature of the (Al, Ga, In)N material on the sacrificial template, it is also possible in the broad practice of various methods disclosed herein to perform the laser parting operation at lower temperature below the growth temperature, e.g., at ambient temperature. For irradiation of the sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N interface to effect parting of the template and (Al, Ga, In)N materials at temperatures substantially below the growth temperature, laser scanning along (Al,Ga,In)N crystal planes reduces cracking from residual strain. Such scanning along crystal planes may be important at elevated temperatures, but it is a more important under conditions where the composite is under stress.

[0043] As an example, for c-plane GaN grown on c-plane sapphire, scanning along a < 1120 > plane of the GaN reduces the incidence and extent of cracking when laser parting is carried out after the sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article is cooled to room ambient temperature and reheated to temperature in the vicinity of the growth temperature. Scanning parallel to the α-plane of (Al,Ga,In)N or along a low index surface is generally desirable.

[0044] Although beam scanning is useful, single beam pulse parting of complete samples may be done if a laser with sufficiently large beam size and power density to cover the sample area is available.

[0045] Figure 5 is a top plan view of a composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article 30.

[0046] Figure 6 is a corresponding view of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article during a rastering lasing operation, in which the laser beam is reciprocatingly traversed across the article, to effect interfacial separation of the sacrificial template from the (Al, Ga, In)N material, and yield the product (Al, Ga, In)N wafer article.

[0047] Figure 7 is a corresponding view of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article during a perimeter lasing operation, in which the laser beam is translated in circular motion, beginning at the periphery of the article 30, and continuing successively in step-wise smaller-diameter circular arcs, as shown.

[0048] The laser parting process requires that the laser light reach the interface between the (Al,Ga,In)N and template materials. To accomplish this, the laser radiation must transmit through one of the (Al,Ga,In)N and template materials and be absorbed in the other one of such materials. For (Al,Ga,In)N growth, the path of the laser radiation depends on the nature of the sacrificial template.

[0049] If, for example, the template is a material such as sapphire having a larger bandgap than (Al,Ga,In)N, the laser light can be transmitted through the sapphire (referred to as the backside layer or material, since this "side" is the "back" or backing layer during the growth process) and the (Al,Ga,In)N material absorbs the laser beam.

[0050] However, when the template has a lower bandgap (e.g., Si, GaAs, SiC, InP, lower bandgap (Al,Ga,In)N, etc.) than (Al,Ga,In)N, the laser beam can transmit through the (Al,Ga,In)N material and be absorbed in the sacrificial template. The absorbed light causes heating which can act to chemically change either material. In general, templates with larger bandgap energy than the (Al,Ga,In)N material would be backside illuminated. Illustrative material of construction for the sacrificial template include, without limitation, sapphire, larger bandgap (Al,Ga,In)N, spinel, etc.

[0051] Alternatively, one or more interlayers may be employed to absorb light at the (Al,Ga,In)N/template interface. Suitable materials for such interlayers include materials that more readily decompose with heating of adjacent layers, to improve or seed (Al,Ga,In)N growth, or a combination thereof. If a laser energy-absorbing layer with a bandgap smaller than the bandgap of the (Al,Ga,In)N layer and the template is used, the laser light can pass through either surface of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article. For example, a 10 micron InGaN layer may be grown on the sapphire surface and then a thick GaN layer grown upon the InGaN. Light that is readily absorbed in the InGaN layer for purposes of effecting a chemical or physical change to the InGaN layer will also easily pass through the GaN or sapphire layer.

[0052] One may also form an interlayer through heavily doping the (Al, Ga, In)N layer to effectively reduce the bandgap. For example, the dopants Si, O or Ge may be used to create a heavily n-type doped (Al, Ga, In)N layer that will more readily absorb incident radiation. Alternatively, the dopants Mg, Zn, Be may be used to create a heavily p-type doped (Al, Ga, In)N layer that will more readily absorb incident radiation. For this purpose, dopant concentrations in excess 1x1018 cm-3 are preferred. A highly defective region, such as may be found in GaN on sapphire, can provide a reduction in the bandgap.
The backside or frontside illuminated templates may be uniform or alternatively they may be patterned to permit laser parting in specific areas. Patterning of the sacrificial template, or use of patterned interlayers, may for instance be employed to facilitate lateral epitaxial overgrowth (LEO), as a technique for defect reduction, or to facilitate slip or cracking in a preferred direction.

[0053] Interlayers can be chosen, for example, so that they can be selectively etched or decomposed, to separate the grown (Al, Ga, In)N from the sacrificial template. Alternately, interlayers can be chosen to couple to a heating source or otherwise to facilitate chemical or physical changes that facilitate parting of the (Al,Ga,In)N material.

[0054] Figure 8 for example is a schematic depiction of a composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article including sacrificial template layer 38 and (Al, Ga, In)N layer 42, separated by interlayer 40, wherein laser beam 36 is impinging on the interlayer to effect decomposition of the interlayer and release the sacrificial template layer 38 from the (Al, Ga, In)N layer 42.

[0055] Figure 9 is a schematic depiction of a composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article including sacrificial template layer 38 and (Al, Ga, In)N layer 42, separated by interlayer 40, wherein laser beam 36 impinging on the interlayer is absorbed by the interlayer. In this method, however, the laser beam energy absorbed by the interlayer induces decomposition of the (Al, Ga, In)N material that is adjacent to the interlayer. Such decomposition of the (Al, Ga, In)N material releases the sacrificial template layer 38 from the (Al, Ga, In)N layer 42.

[0056] In the parting process, the requirement that the light be transmitted to the (Al,Ga,In)N-template interface means that the laser must be directed to the interface either from the (Al,Ga,In)N side or template side of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, depending on the template material and laser. The template material and the laser energy employed for the parting are therefore desirably selected so that the pathway for the laser beam, through the template (for template-side lasing of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article) or through the (Al, Ga, In)N material (in the case of (Al, Ga, In)N-side lasing of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article) does not significantly hinder (absorb or reflect) the beam. For example, if a UV laser is employed for template-side lasing of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, then the template is desirably highly transparent to the UV radiation produced by the laser.

[0057] The laser beam pathway through the room ambient (the environment between the generated laser beam and the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article must also be considered in ensuring that the beam impinged on the article is of suitable character (intensity) to effect parting of the template and (Al, Ga, In)N. Further, the incident angle of the laser beam must not be so shallow that the light is reflected by intervening surfaces.

[0058] In one illustrative method, a UV laser is employed, and UV transparent quartz is usefully employed directly at the backside of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article and transmits the UV laser radiation. Alternately, sapphire, AlN or other materials transparent to the light used for parting can be used, but these materials must also be compatible with their location in the growth chamber (reactor). The composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, for example, may be disposed in an HVPE reactor and may be exposed to corrosive gases and high temperatures and the template material must therefore be compatible (e.g., retain structural integrity for supporting the (Al, Ga, In)N material being grown thereon, as well as transmissivity for the lasing energy being directed to the interface region of the composite article) with the reactor environment.

[0059] Figure 10 is a schematic illustration of an in situ laser parting apparatus for conducting growth of (Al,Ga,In)N by HVPE and transmission of laser light to the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article from the backside of the composite (through the template).

[0060] In the Figure 10 system, the laser 50 is arranged with a waveplate 52 and polarizer 54 for power modulation to provide radiation of appropriate character for the parting. The laser beam is shown in Figure 10 by the large schematic arrows. The beam may be measured as to its power by mirror 56 and associated energy meter 58, which are in place only during power measurement. The power measurement may therefore be employed to characterize the laser beam so that appropriate waveplate 52 and polarizer 54 positions/settings are utilized for power modulation.
The laser beam in normal operation during parting impinges on the mirror 62 and is reflected to the x-y scanner 60. The x-y scanner 60 selectively translates the laser beam, directing it to mirror 64 from which it is directed through the pedestal 68 mounted in the (Al, Ga, In)N growth reactor 66. The composite wafer article is disposed on the pedestal 68 and comprises (Al, Ga, In)N layer 70 grown on the sacrificial template 72.

[0061] The sacrificial template is transparent to the laser beam, so that the beam passing through the pedestal 68 then is transmitted through the sacrificial template 72 to the template/(Al, Ga, In)N interface. The laser energy is absorbed at the interface to effect parting of the sacrificial template 72 from the (Al, Ga, In)N material, to yield (Al, Ga, In)N material in the form of a free-standing (Al, Ga, In)N single crystal article.

[0062] The growth reactor 66 may be constructed and arranged to carry out HVPE as above discussed, or alternatively, a growth reactor constructed and arranged for another (Al, Ga, In)N growth process may be employed, e.g., to carry out MOVPE, CVD, MBE or method or technique known in the art for deposition/growth of (Al, Ga, In)N materials on substrates.

[0063] In the Figure 10 system, arranged for scanning by means of the x-y scanner 60, the pathway of the laser beam is unobstructed for the entire cross-sectional area of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article on the pedestal 68. This in turn requires a pedestal with a suitably large cross sectional area, so that the beam can be scanned through the entire growth area of the (Al, Ga, In)N layer formed on the template. Alternately, the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article on the pedestal can be rotated and moved to part the entire growth area of (Al, Ga, In)N material. Laser deflection and wafer movements can also be combined (e.g., rotation of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article may be effected, with the laser beam deflected to scan from edge to center). To control heat loss out of the large pedestal opening, one or more transparent baffle plates can be placed at the lower end of the pedestal.

[0064] The pedestal 68, since it is utilized as a support structure for the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, is preferably highly transparent to the laser beam. In the case of ultraviolet lasers, the pedestal may for example be formed of a UV transparent quartz to enable light to be transmitted to the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article. Such quartz material preferably is bubble-free and contains minimal particulates, in order to be non-absorbent of the incident laser radiation. Alternative materials of construction that are transparent, or at least highly transmissive, to UV radiation (such as sapphire, AlN, etc.) could alternatively be employed. For other types of laser radiation (e.g., infrared, xenon excimer, CO2, etc.), suitable materials of construction for the pedestal can readily be determined within the skill of the art.

[0065] The use of transparent backside materials in the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article have an additional advantage in that the growth process can be directly monitored during deposition of (Al, Ga, In)N on the sacrificial template, and such monitoring can be employed to control the growth process via feedback control means and techniques. Such feedback loop operation is readily implemented, as part of an overall process control sub-system for the (Al, Ga, In)N growth and in situ parting system.

[0066] The surface of the pedestal or other reactor wall material, or even the sacrificial template back surface of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, may be modified to shape the light beam being transmitted to the sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N interface of the composite article. For example, such surface(s) may be roughened to diffuse the incident beam, or they may be shaped into a series of microlenses to facilitate focusing in specific areas, or they may be masked to prevent illumination in some areas.

[0067] In the assembly of the (Al, Ga, In)N growth and parting system, appropriate care should be taken with optics choice and placement, so that they are compatible with the laser wavelength and so that they minimize relections during the operation of the laser to part the sacrificial template and (Al, Ga, In)N materials from one another. Reflections are preferably minimized since they may cause interference or adverse variation in the beam profile. Interference fringes may also be employed to perform the parting with stripes of light, as a partial release technique discussed more fully hereinafter.

[0068] In the (Al, Ga, In)N growth and parting system, the growth reactor is suitably constructed of materials that are compatible with the growth environment, which may by way of example include growth conditions of temperatures of up to 1200°C, the presence of vapor phase reagents such as NH3, HCl, and GaCl, and pressure levels that may variously be subatmospheric, superatmospheric, or atmospheric pressures.
In carrying out the parting operation using backside illumination, the template upon which the (Al,Ga,In)N is grown must be transparent to the laser radiation, as previously discussed, and the backside of the template and composite wafer article holder (e.g., the pedestal and any wafer mount or positioning elements used therewith) must be maintained free from laser absorbing deposits such as backside (Al,Ga,In)N.

[0069] Various approaches to preventing backside deposits are advantageously employed.

[0070] By way of example, the illustrative system schematically depicted in Figure 10 is designed to enable the wafer to stay in the same position for growth and template removal. Such arrangement minimizes temperature change between the growth and template removal operations. The growth and template removal process may also be carried out by growing the (Al, Ga, In)N layer on the sacrificial template in one or several chambers or portions of the reactor and transporting the resulting composite wafer article to a separate template removal chamber or area. The composite wafer article may be heated during transport to minimize temperature change.

[0071] The template removal operation may be carried out by directing laser light to the frontside of the composite sacrificial template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, in a corresponding manner to the backside illumination approaches discussed hereinabove, using an appropriate laser (and wavelength of lasing energy) to transmit the laser beam through the (Al,Ga,In)N and thermally decompose an interlayer or template, for example.

[0072] As another approach to carrying out the parting step, several different interfacial layers with different stoichiometry (and therefore different bandgap) may be grown to enable the parting of several layers with a tunable laser.

[0073] As described above, the backside of the template and composite wafer article holder are preferably maintained free from laser absorbing deposits, and it is also beneficial to inhibit deposits on the side and the top surface edge of the composite article to facilitate the LILO process when employed in the practice of methods as disclosed herein. If the same gases that deposit (Al,Ga,In)N material make their way to the back of the sacrificial template and react, the resulting deposits can prevent the laser beam from reaching the parting interface. To avoid such adverse consequence and minimize the occurrence of backside deposits, the following approaches may be employed.

[0074] In one approach, the composite wafer article may be fixedly held from the backside, by vacuum, electrostatic force or other means or techniques that do not block or severely attenuate the laser radiation and that hold the composite wafer article tightly enough against the flat composite wafer article holder to block growth gas flow from reaching the backside of the sacrificial template.

[0075] As another approach, the backside of the sacrificial template in the composite wafer article can be flushed with inert gas, to direct growth gas flow away from the back of the sacrificial template or to inhibit reaction at the back surface.

[0076] As still another approach, materials such as borosilicate glasses, which are transparent to the laser radiation, which soften or melt at growth and template removal temperatures, and which do not outgas significant impurities or react with the growth process gases, can be used to seal the backside from growth process gases (e.g., source reagent gases, product gases of the growth process, and any associated carrier, diluent, etc., gases). Suitable glasses may be provided in the shape of the composite wafer article, or the glasses can be coated on the backside of the sacrificial template before growth. Glass materials can also be used to alter stress and a glass of specific TCE can be correspondingly chosen to minimize stress or induce a desired stress in the composite wafer article. Glass materials may be used to cover the entire backside of the sacrificial template, or they can be utilized to cover the perimeter of the sacrificial template and thereby act as a seal.

[0077] In a further variant approach to preventing backside deposits, the backside of the sacrificial template and composite wafer article holder can be coated with a material which inhibits deposits, such as for example sputtered, evaporated, or plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD)-applied SiO2 or Si3N4. By minimizing adsorption of one or more of the growth gas species to the solid surfaces, unwanted deposits can be minimized. Alternatively, the inhibiting layer could be removed (e.g., by in situ etching or other technique for removal of the growth inhibiting layer) before parting, thereby removing any deposits that may be present, at the same time.

[0078] As a further approach to minimizing backside deposits, physical impediments to growth gas flow can be placed over the edges of the sacrificial template and composite wafer article, to block the path of gases and minimize deposits in undesirable areas. For example, cover plates may be utilized, having opening(s) that enable growth to occur at the frontside of the composite wafer article, but preventing significant growth from occurring on the backside of the composite wafer article. The cover plate is advantageously formed and deployed so that it enables laser light to reach the interface of the growth region while at the same time enabling release of gases that are produced in the parting operation. For example, grooves may be provided in the cover plate to provide a path for gas release.

[0079] The cover plate may be advantageously tapered to provide a shadow effect and serve to reduce deposition of (Al,Ga,In)N on the cover plate during growth.

[0080] Figure 11 is a schematic representation of a portion of a growth and parting system using a cover plate 80 on a wafer holder 82. The sacrificial template 84 is disposed on the wafer holder 82, and the (Al, Ga, In)N material 86 is grown on the sacrificial template by delivery of the source gases in the gas flow stream indicated schematically in Figure 11 by arrow G. The cover plate 80 is tapered as shown, so that deposits 88 of absorbing material produced in the growth process are localized in a manner that does not interfere with the transmission of laser energy to the interface between the sacrificial template 84 and the (Al, Ga, In)N material being grown on the template. By such arrangement, the laser beam, schematically represented in Figure 11 by arrow L, is non-interferingly transmitted through the template to the interface. The cover plate thereby shadows the template from adverse growth effects, and the taper of the surface from the top opening of the cover plate (downwardly divergent passage profile) minimizes adherence of the (Al, Ga, In)N material to the cover plate.

[0081] Considering now the sacrificial template in greater detail, the top surface of the template, or an edge masking surface associated with the template, may be shaped in such a way to facilitate gas escape during the parting process while also inhibiting growth on the template surface. One means of accomplishing this is by deposition of an SiO2 layer on the edge of the template surface and then patterning the SiO2 layer to expose the template material, thereby forming trenches. If the aspect ratio (ratio of height of the trench to the width of the trench) is sufficiently high, little or no (Al, Ga, In)N will form in the trench. The trenches may for example be arranged to form an array of radial grooves to facilitate gas escape from the interface region. Alternatively, the patterning to form the trenches may be carried out so that the grooves are branched, to facilitate gas release during parting.

[0082] Performing the parting process in the same apparatus in which the growth is conducted, enables enhanced flexibility in the timing of the parting operation to be achieved, as well as facilitating control of the localized environment in which the parting operation is carried out.

[0083] If the parting is carried out at temperatures in excess of the decomposition temperature of the (Al,Ga,In)N material (e.g., 800°C for GaN), cracked nitrogen (e.g., atomic N, or NH3) can be introduced and maintained in the localized environment during parting, in order to protect the frontside of the composite wafer article from thermal decomposition. HCl can be added to the localized environment of the parting process to assist in removal of Group III elements left behind by the decomposition reactions at the interface.

[0084] In the parting operation, decomposition may occur at the backside of the composite wafer article and prevent light from reaching the interface. In this case, continuous laser operation and etching with HCl may be employed to clear a pathway to the interface. Otherwise, the parting environment may suitably be carried out in an environment such as N2 atmosphere.

[0085] Under some circumstances, it may be beneficial to retain the Group III metal produced by interfacial decomposition reaction, if the region in which the metal is found has been successfully parted. The metal will reflect the laser light from the already parted region, preventing further damage to the interfacial region by the intense light exposure. By monitoring light reflected from the reflective surface, the lift-off progress may be monitored.

[0086] The pressure in the apparatus in which the parting is carried out can be controlled to balance the stress during parting. For example, subatmospheric conditions in the chamber in which parting is conducted, may help to effectuate gas release from the parting interface. In general, pressures in a range of from about 1.3 x 10-4 Pa to about 1 x 106 MPa (about 10-6 Torr to about 1010 Torr) are compatible with and preferred in the parting process. Higher pressures may require higher decomposition temperatures (more aggressive heating or laser energies). In one method, localized pressure in the parting operation may be > 133 kPa (> 1000 Torr), particularly if the growth process was conducted at high pressure.

[0087] The thicknesses of the (Al,Ga,In)N material and template layer can be adjusted to minimize stress in the composite wafer article comprising the template and (Al, Ga, In)N materials. Stress is typically present in the (Al,Ga,In)N - template system at the growth temperature because of different material properties of the film and template. In general, thin sacrificial templates will develop stress defects and crack more readily than thicker layers, since relative stress accumulated in thinner layers will cause cracking, which functions to release the stress. Thicker sacrificial templates will bow less and are more readily reuseable.

[0088] Concerning the thickness of the (Al,Ga,In)N material, there is a balance between increased stress for large thicknesses and lack of rigidity and strength for small thicknesses. Stress present in the (Al,Ga,In)N - template system will increase with increasing (Al,Ga,In)N thickness due to various factors, including changes in material properties with increasing distance from the template. Uncracked thick films are more easily handled and sustain their shape without breaking.

[0089] The self-supporting nature of the product (Al,Ga,In)N material is dependent on the area of the free-standing material. Larger area (Al, Ga, In)N articles require relatively larger thicknesses to be self-supporting. The material quality of the product (Al,Ga,In)N, in general, improves with increasing thickness when grown on a foreign template ("foreign" in such context meaning heterogeneous to the (Al, Ga, In)N product material). By way of example, for fully parted product wafers having a 5 cm (2") diameter, it is desirable for the thickness of the (Al,Ga,In)N material to be in excess of 50 µm before parting. However, thinner films can be partially parted and therefore partially supported by the sacrificial template. If the unparted area is <50% of the total area, thermal stresses induced by cooldown to ambient temperature (e.g., room temperature) can complete the parting process.

[0090] A weakened interface facilitating parting may also be created by inducing local heating of the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article at a temperature that is slightly less (e.g., <5 °C below) the thermal decomposition temperature (threshold temperature).

[0091] Alternatively, the parting can be assisted after growth by chemical or physical removal of the sacrificial template. It is also within the purview of methods disclosed herein to combine various approaches for parting the (Al, Ga, In)N and sacrificial template materials from one another, such as for example, by laser parting in combination with chemical etching, or by other combinations of thermal/physical/chemical steps.

[0092] The timing of the parting process relative to the growth process can be varied to maximize material quality, manage the stresses produced in the material, and improve process manufacturability of the (Al, Ga, In)N free-standing single crystal product article. To manufacture individual (Al, Ga, In)N wafers, the parting process can be performed upon completion of the (Al,Ga,In)N growth, e.g., after 100 to 1000 µm of (Al,Ga,In)N have been grown on the sacrificial substrate. The parting can occur after growth is complete or during the growth process.
The flexibility of performing the parting during the growth process enables process variations to be effected, such as partially parting the materials at very thin (Al,Ga,In)N thickness and then continuing growth. Partial parting can facilitate stress release while enough material is retained to support the (Al,Ga,In)N material during growth. Since thermal decomposition incident to laser irradiation releases gaseous decomposition products at the interface, partial parting by use of lower laser power density, will reduce gas production and reduce cracking. The partially parted (Al,Ga,In)N may be completely removed upon completion of growth by further laser parting, by fracture of the unparted material during cooldown, or by other suitable thermal, mechanical and/or chemical means.

[0093] Alternatively, full parting can be carried out with (Al,Ga,In)N thicknesses greater than 20 µm over a small area. Subsequent heating (or laser operation) may be also employed to complete the parting or to part the materials again in the event that further growth reattaches the (Al,Ga,In)N to the template or reactor components.

[0094] The parting process may be repeated one or multiple times during the growth process and/or thereafter. As described hereinabove, HCl or other suitable reagent may be employed to remove excess Group III elelments (Al, In, Ga) present after decomposition that may block further laser transmission to the interface of the template/(Al, Ga, In)N article.

[0095] In addition to parting during growth, growth can be temporarily interrupted to carry out the parting operation. This sequence can also be repeated one or more times during a full sequence of growth-parting alternating steps.

[0096] Since parting near the growth temperature releases the stresses associated with heteroepitaxy, growth can more readily be carried out for very large thicknesses of the product (Al, Ga, In)N material, in excess of 1-100 mm. The free-standing (Al,Ga,In)N product article can then be processed into individual wafers, in a manner as more fully disclosed in prior copending U.S. Patent Application No. 09/524,062 filed March 13, 2000, now issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,596,079.

[0097] In general, the parting process is advantageously carried out upon completion of from about 0.01 to about 100 mm of growth, depending on the desired (Al, Ga, In)N product. Although the parting process is most preferably and beneficially carried out at a temperature at or near the growth temperature, before cooling the reactor containing the template/(Al, Ga, In)N article to ambient temperature (e.g., room temperature), the parting processes can also be carried out after the template/(Al,Ga,In)N article has been cooled to ambient temperature.

[0098] In general, the parting operation can be conducted at any suitable temperature, as will be readily determinable within the skill of the art based on the disclosure herein.

[0099] Parting can be performed at elevated temperatures that are greater than, less than, equal to, or substantially equal to, the original temperature at which the (Al,Ga,In)N was grown on the sacrificial template. Parting is suitably carried out at temperatures that are, in order of increasing preference, within 400°C, within 300°C, within 250°C, within 200°C, within 150°C, within 100°C, within 75°C, and within 50°C, of the growth temperature of the (Al, Ga, In)N material on the template. An elevated temperature condition of the template/(Al, Ga, In)N composite article is advantageous to at least partially alleviate the TCE-stresses, so that parting at the elevated temperature condition produces a stress-free or substantially stress-free (Al, Ga, In)N free-standing article. Protection of the AlGaInN from thermal decomposition may be necessary, as for example may be effected with the use of an N-containing ambient environment.

[0100] As discussed hereinabove, deleterious light-absorbing or light-attenuating deposits are desirably not present on the illumination side of the template/(Al, Ga, In)N composite article, or on edges thereof, since such deposits interfere with the light transmission into the article that is required for laser parting. Backside deposits are preferably minimized with sputtered or PECVD SiO2 or other growth inhibitors during the growth of (Al, Ga, In)N on the template. The inhibitor in such instances can be chemically removed before parting. Removal of the growth inhibitor layer has the added benefit of removing any backside deposits with it. SiO2 thicknesses greater than 50 nm are preferred, and thicknesses greater than 300 nm are most preferred.

[0101] Prevention of backside deposits and deposits at the edges of the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article is advantageously carried out by methods described above for in situ parting (e.g., where parting is carried out in the reactor used to carry out the growth process). Ex situ parting may also be performed, wherein the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article is removed from the reactor to carry out subsequent parting. Ex situ parting removes the requirement, inherent in in situ parting, of not blocking the laser beam. Further, the use of ex situ parting entails additional flexibility in use and deployment of means to protect edge and backside portions of the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article.

[0102] Physically or chemically removing the edges of the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article after growth, to eliminate thick (Al,Ga,In)N growth at the edges of the composite article, may also be used as a processing technique to prevent such adhered areas from causing cracking of the product (Al, Ga, In)N article. Physical techniques for such excess growth removal may for example include, without limitation, grinding, cutting, or cleaving along crystalline planes. Chemical removal of such excess growth may be accomplished by etching (in H3PO4 or in HCl) or with UV light-assisted etching of the deposits, where UV light focused on particular areas increases the rate and extent of the etching.

[0103] Laser parameters for impingement of laser energy on the interface of the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article in ex situ parting are similar to those used for in situ parting.

[0104] Scanning patterns, including initiation of scanning at the edges of composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N articles, are particularly important for release of effused gases in ex situ parting. Since more strain is present in the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article in ex situ parting, scanning along crystal planes is more important than for scanning to effect in situ parting. Single beam parting is advantageously employed in instances where lasers are available with sufficient beam size and beam power density to part the entire area, without scanning being necessary.

[0105] (Al,Ga,In)N layers that are too thin to be self-supporting, can be supported by gravity or by bonding to a suitable physical support structure before parting.

[0106] Ex situ parting has the advantage of ready access to the frontside and backside of the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article. The directional accessibility increases the degrees of freedom for choice of templates and interlayers for ex situ parting operations.

[0107] In both in situ and ex situ parting operations, interlayers that reduce strain and cracking are highly advantageous. The interlayer may be provided on the sacrificial template prior to introduction of the template to the growth reactor, or alternatively, the interlayer may be applied in situ in the growth chamber prior to the inception of active growth of the (Al, Ga, In)N material.

[0108] Subthreshold/partial parting of thin layers may be employed in the broad practice of methods disclosed herein, to provide residual surface artifacts as seeds for subsequent growth. Subthreshold/partial parting of thick layers followed by chemical etching of the weakened interface also may be utilized as a technique to improve process yield.

[0109] Gases released from the interface during the parting can cause film cracking, reducing process yield. Using lower power density reduces the amount of gas released, and reduces the probability of wafer cracking during the parting process.

[0110] After parting, the (Al, Ga, In)N article may need to be cleaned to remove residual Group III metals resulting from the interfacial decomposition. Acids such as HCl or HF, employed at room temperature or elevated temperature, are effective for this purpose.

[0111] To avoid thermal shocking of the (Al,Ga,In)N material after parting or partial parting, a slow cooling process, at a rate < 10 °C/min. is desirable, although more rapid cooling can be used to improve manufacturability. The cooling rate appropriate to obtain a given end product (Al, Ga, In)N article of desired character may readily be determined without undue experimentation, by empirical variation of time-temperature schedules, and morphological characterization and end use testing of the (Al,Ga,In)N product article.

[0112] Although the methods have been primarily described herein in terms of use of laser-induced parting, other forms of targeted interface heating can be used (e.g., using heat, sound, e-beam irradiation, rf coupling, or multiple photon processes (e.g., carried out at 2 different wavelengths of laser radiation, or by UV flooding in combination with use of a targeted laser, etc.). Multiple photon processes are more fully described in the following references: (see, for example, Misawa, Hiroaki; Juodkazis, Saulius; Sun, Hong-Bo; Matsuo, Shigeki; Nishii, Junji, , Formation of photonic crystals by femtosecond laser microfabrication, Proc. SPIE-Int. Soc. Opt. Eng. (2000), 4088(Laser Precision Microfabrication), 29-32; Kuebler, Stephen M.; Cumpston, Brian H.; Ananthavel, Sundaravel; Barlow, Stephen; Ehrlich, Jeffrey E.; Erskine, L. L.; Heikal, Ahmed A.; McCord-Maughon, D.; Qin, J.; Rockel, H.; Rumi, M.; Marder, S. R.; Perry, J. W., Three-dimensional micro-fabrication using two-photon-activated chemistry, Proc. SPIE-Int. Soc. Opt. Eng. (2000), 3937(Micro- and Nano-photonic Materials and Devices), 97-105; Sun, Chi-Kuang; Huang, Yong-Liang; Liang, Jian-Chin; Wang, Jiun-Cheng; Gan, Kian-Giap; Kao, Fu-Jen; Keller, Stacia; Mack, Michael P.; Mishra, Umesh; Denbaars, Steven P., Large near resonance third order nonlinearity in GaN, Opt. Quantum Electron. (2000), 32(4/5), 619-640; and Neogi, Arup; Yoshida, Haruhiko; Mozume, Teruo; Georgiev, Nikolai; Akiyama, Tomoyuki; Wada, Osamu, Intersubband-transition-induced interband two-photon absorption by femtosecond optical excitation, Proc. SPIE-Int. Soc. Opt. Eng. (2000), 3940(Ultrafast Phenomena in Semiconductors IV), 91-97.

[0113] Although localized interface heating has been described herein as an approach for altering the physical and chemical nature of the interface of the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article, methods disclosed herein are intended to be broadly construed as including any means or methodology for effecting a physical or chemical change at the interface that facilitates parting of the (Al,Ga,In)N material from the sacrificial template. For instance, implantation techniques, e.g., ion implantation, to create a weakened region for fracture is contemplated in the broad practice of methods disclosed herein. Alternatively, heating or excitation of the entire sample uniformly (not just locally at the interface), but including an intermediate layer which weakens at a lesser level of heating or excitation is intended to be comprehended by methods disclosed herein. As a still further alternative, the use of processes or interlayers that make the interface more chemically reactive, such that the interface region can be easily etched away, including etching before the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article is cooled to room ambient, is contemplated in the broad scope of methods disclosed herein.

[0114] Although single (Al,Ga,In)N layers and (Al,Ga,In)N layers with intermediate layers have been described, the methods disclosed herein are not thus limited, and the (Al, Ga, In)N product article may also include, or have associated therewith, further epitaxial layers, device structures, device precursors, other deposited materials, or devices made from such materials, so long as they do not preclude interfacial processing to effect delamination of template and (Al, Ga, In)N portions of the composite template/(Al, Ga, In)N article. These aforementioned layers, structures, precursors, and materials, may be deposited before or after the parting has been performed, as necessary and/or appropriate to the end use of the (Al, Ga, In)N article. Systems containing these structures are also contemplated in the broad practice of methods disclosed herein.

[0115] In addition, although methods disclosed herein have been primarily described herein with reference to (Al,Ga,In)N materials on sacrificial templates, methods disclosed herein are intended to broadly encompass heterogeneous composite material structures having an interface between discrete phases or types of materials, in which the interface is susceptible of energetic or other modification to part the material at the interface region into discrete constituent parts, including composite material structures that may be processed at elevated temperature for interface modification to interfacially delaminate the composite body into constituent parts, or corresponding composite material structures that are interfacially delaminated at ambient temperature after elevated temperature processing and cooldown.

[0116] The features and advantages of methods disclosed herein are more fully shown by the following examples.

EXAMPLE 1



[0117] Free-standing GaN of 400 µm thickness was produced by HVPE growth of GaN on sapphire, and laser parting of the composite GaN/sapphire article in the growth chamber near the HVPE growth temperature.

[0118] In this process, a sacrificial (0001) sapphire wafer was loaded into the growth chamber of an HVPE reactor. The sapphire was heated to approximately 1000°C, and the surface of the sapphire was exposed to GaCl gas and NH3 gas for 165 minutes. The GaCl was formed by HCl flowing over molten Ga. The NH3/HCl ratio was 23.

[0119] The GaCl flow was terminated, and the GaN-sapphire composite was controlled near the growth temperature and at atmospheric pressure, with NH3 flow maintained to protect the GaN surface.

[0120] Parting radiation for interfacial delamination of the GaN and sapphire layers was generated by a Nd:YAG laser. The 3rd harmonic of the Nd:YAG laser was adjusted to 90 mJ, using a laser power meter and waveplate-polarizer combination. The laser radiation was directed to the GaN-sapphire interface through a UV-transmissive quartz pedestal and the sapphire template.

[0121] During the irradiation, the GaN-sapphire composite was rotated and the laser beam was electro-optically modulated to scan the beam from edge to center until the entire wafer area was exposed.

[0122] The GaN and sapphire were cooled to room ambient.

[0123] Freestanding GaN and sacrificial sapphire were removed from the growth chamber. The resulting freestanding GaN material was approximately 400 µm in thickness, visibly transparent and crack-free, had a dislocation density less than 107 cm-2 and a (0004) double crystal x-ray rocking curve halfwidth of less than 200 arcsec.

EXAMPLE 2



[0124] In this example, a 40 mm diameter freestanding GaN wafer was produced by HVPE growth of GaN on sapphire, and laser parting at elevated temperature.

[0125] The following process steps were carried out:
  1. (1) The backside of a (0001) sapphire wafer was sputter-coated with 300 nm of SiO2. The edges of the wafer simulaneously received some coating, but SiO2 was prevented from depositing on frontside (growth side) of the wafer.
  2. (2) This sputter-coated sacrificial (0001) sapphire wafer was loaded into the growth chamber of a horizontal HVPE reactor.
  3. (3) The sapphire was heated to approximately 1000 °C, and the surface of the sapphire was exposed to GaCl gas and NH3 gas for 180 minutes, using GaCl generated by flowing HCl over molten Ga, at a NH3/HCl ratio of 35 in the process.
  4. (4) The GaCl flow was terminated.
  5. (5) The NH3 flow was terminated.
  6. (6) The GaN/sapphire composite was removed from the growth chamber.
  7. (7) Following its removal from the growth chamber, the GaN/sapphire composite remained at room ambient temperature for a period of days.
  8. (8) GaN deposits located at the sapphire side and on the edge of the GaN-sapphire composite were removed by a combination of HF etching of the SiO2 for several hours and physical grinding.
  9. (9) The GaN/sapphire composite was loaded into a vacuum chamber with the GaN surface situated within a bed of SiC particles.
  10. (10) A 1 cm thick quartz disc was placed on the GaN/sapphire composite with the roughened surface (matte finish) placed closest to the GaN/sapphire to homogenize the laser beam.
  11. (11) The vacuum chamber was evacuated and filled with N2 gas.
  12. (12) The GaN/sapphire composite was heated to approximately 900°C.
  13. (13) Radiation from the 3rd harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser was adjusted to 100 mJ using a laser power meter and waveplate-polarizer combination, and then the laser radiation was directed to the vacuum chamber through a quartz window, the quartz disc and sapphire to the GaN/sapphire interface.
  14. (14) The laser beam was electro-optically modulated to raster the beam across the wafer starting at one edge and scanning parallel to the {112bar0} plane of the GaN until the entire wafer area was exposed.
  15. (15) The GaN and sapphire were cooled to room ambient temperature.
  16. (16) The GaN and sapphire were placed in dilute HF solution for 30 minutes, following which free-standing GaN was removed from the HF and rinsed in deionized water.
  17. (17) The GaN material was sized to a 40 mm diameter round wafer with one flat side to mark the {112bar0} direction, using abrasive particles.
  18. (18) The wafer was lapped to uniform thickness and mechanically polished using 9 µm and 3 µm diamond grit.
  19. (19) The wafer was chemically-mechanically polished to produce epitaxially ready GaN wafer.


[0126] The finished 40 mm diameter, freestanding GaN wafer was approximately 200 µm in thickness, visibly transparent and crack-free, had a dislocation density of approximately 2 x 107 cm-2, and a root mean square surface roughness of less than 1 nm.


Claims

1. A method of forming a free-standing (Al,Ga,In)N article by steps comprising:

initiating growth of (Al,Ga,In)N material over an epitaxially compatible sacrificial template;

partially parting said initially grown (Al,Ga,In)N material from said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template;

continuing growth of said (Al,Ga,In)N material over said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template;

following completion of said (Al,Ga,In)N material growth, completing removal of said (Al,Ga,In)N material from said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template to yield free-standing (Al,Ga,In)N material.


 
2. The method of claim 1, wherein at least one of said partial parting and said removal of (Al,Ga,In)N material from said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template is performed by transmitting a laser beam to an interface between said (Al,Ga,In)N material and said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template.
 
3. The method of claim 2, wherein said growth of (Al,Ga,In)N material over said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template is performed in a growth reactor comprising a material transparent to a laser beam, and said transmitting of the laser beam comprises transmitting the laser beam through the transparent material of the growth reactor to an interface between said (Al,Ga,In)N material and said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template.
 
4. The method of claim 1, wherein said growth of (Al,Ga,In)N material over said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template is performed in a growth reactor, and wherein said removal of said (Al,Ga,In)N material from said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template is performed in said growth reactor.
 
5. The method of any one of claims 3 or 4, wherein the growth reactor comprises a pedestal adapted to support the epitaxially compatible sacrificial template, and the method further comprises rotating the pedestal during at least one of the partial parting and the removal steps.
 
6. The method of claim 1, wherein removal of said (Al,Ga,In)N material from said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template is completed by at least one of the following:

cooldown to ambient temperature, chemical etching, and laser parting.


 
7. The method of claim 1, wherein:

said partial parting includes any one of: (a) laser parting, (b) chemical etching, (c) impinging acoustic energy on an interface between said (Al,Ga,In)N material and said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template, (d) impinging on said interface an impingement medium selected from the group consisting of protons, ions, and particle beams, and (e) RF coupling to said interface; and

completing removal of said (Al,Ga,In)N material from the epitaxially compatible sacrificial template includes any one of: (i) laser parting, (ii) chemical etching, (iii) impinging acoustic energy on said interface, (iv) impinging on said interface an impingement medium selected from the group consisting of protons, ions, and particle beams, (v) RF coupling to said interface, and (vi) cooling the (Al,Ga,In)N material to ambient temperature.


 
8. The method of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein said growth of (Al,Ga,In)N material comprises at least one of hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE), metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE).
 
9. The method of claim 1, wherein said partial parting is carried out at temperature that is within 300ºC of temperature at which said (Al,Ga,In)N material is grown over said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template.
 
10. The method of claim 1, further comprising forming an interlayer between the epitaxially compatible sacrificial template and said (Al,Ga,In)N material.
 
11. The method of claim 1, wherein after said partial parting, sufficient (Al,Ga,In)N material remains at an interface between said (Al,Ga,In)N material and said epitaxially compatible sacrificial template to support said (Al,Ga,In)N material.
 
12. The method of claim 1, wherein the (Al,Ga,In)N material comprises single crystal (Al,Ga,In)N material.
 
13. The method of claim 1, further comprising forming the free-standing (Al,Ga,In)N article into wafers having a thickness of from about 100 to about 1000 µm.
 


Ansprüche

1. Verfahren zur Herstellung eines freistehenden Gegenstands aus (Al,Ga,In)N durch Schritte umfassend:

Einleiten eines Wachstums von (Al,Ga,In)N-Material über einer epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage;

teilweises Abtrennen des (Al,Ga,In)N-Materials, dessen Wachstum eingeleitet wurde, von der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage;

Fortsetzen des Wachstums des (Al,Ga,In)N-Materials über der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage;

folgend auf das Fertigstellen des (Al,Ga,In)N-Materialwachstums, Fertigstellen des Entfernens des (Al,Ga,In)N-Materials von der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage, um freistehendes (Al,Ga,In)N-Material zu gewinnen.


 
2. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei mindestens eines des teilweisen Abtrennens und des Entfernens von (Al,Ga,In)N-Material von der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage durch Übertragen eines Laserstrahls an eine Schnittstelle zwischen dem (Al,Ga,In)N-Material und der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage ausgeführt wird.
 
3. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei das Wachstum von (Al,Ga,In)N-Material über die epitaktisch kompatible Opfervorlage in einem Wachstumsreaktor ausgeführt wird, der ein Material umfasst, das für einen Laserstrahl transparent ist, und wobei das Übertragen des Laserstrahls ein Übertragen des Laserstrahls durch das transparente Material des Wachstumsreaktors hindurch an eine Schnittstelle zwischen dem (Al,Ga,In)N-Material und der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage umfasst.
 
4. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Wachstum von (Al,Ga,In)N-Material über der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage in einem Wachstumsreaktor ausgeführt wird und wobei das Entfernen des (Al,Ga,In)N-Materials von der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage in dem Wachstumsreaktor ausgeführt wird.
 
5. Verfahren gemäß einem der Ansprüche 3 oder 4, wobei der Wachstumsreaktor ein Podest umfasst, das dafür eingerichtet ist, die epitaktisch kompatible Opfervorlage abzustützen, und wobei das Verfahren ferner ein Rotieren des Podestes während mindestens eines des teilweisen Abtrenn- und des Entfernschritts umfasst.
 
6. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Entfernen des (Al,Ga,In)N-Materials von der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage durch mindestens eines der folgenden fertiggestellt wird:

Abkühlen auf Umgebungstemperatur, chemisches Ätzen und Lasertrennen.


 
7. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei:

das teilweise Abtrennen eines enthält von: (a) Lasertrennen, (b) chemisches Ätzen, (c) Einstrahlen von Schallenergie auf eine Schnittstelle zwischen dem (Al,Ga,In)N-Material und der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage, (d) Einstrahlen eines Einstrahlmediums, ausgewählt aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Protonen, Ionen und Partikelstrahlen auf die Schnittstelle und (e) RF-Einkoppeln in die Schnittstelle; und

das Fertigstellen des Entfernens des (Al,Ga,In)N-Materials von der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage eines enthält von: (i) Lasertrennen, (ii) chemisches Ätzen, (iii) Einstrahlen von Schallenergie auf die Schnittstelle, (iv) Einstrahlen eines Einstrahlmediums, ausgewählt aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Protonen, Ionen und Partikelstrahlen auf die Schnittstelle, und (vi) Abkühlen des (Al,Ga,In)N-Materials auf Umgebungstemperatur.


 
8. Verfahren gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, wobei das Wachstum von (Al,Ga,In)N-Material mindestens eines umfasst von Hydridgasphasenepitaxie (HVPE), metallorganischer Gasphasenepitaxie (MOVPE), chemischer Gasphasenabscheidung (CVD) und Molekularstrahlepitaxie (MBE).
 
9. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das teilweise Abtrennen bei einer Temperatur durchgeführt wird, die innerhalb von 300° C von einer Temperatur liegt, bei der das (Al,Ga,In)N-Material über der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage wachsen gelassen wird.
 
10. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend ein Herstellen einer Zwischenschicht zwischen der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage und dem (Al,Ga,In)N-Material.
 
11. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei nach dem teilweisen Abtrennen ausreichend (Al,Ga,In)N-Material an einer Schnittstelle zwischen dem (Al,Ga,In)N-Material und der epitaktisch kompatiblen Opfervorlage verbleibt, um das (Al,Ga,In)N-Material abzustützen.
 
12. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das (Al,Ga,In)N-Material Einkristall-(Al,Ga,In)N-Material umfasst.
 
13. Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend ein Herstellen des freistehenden Gegenstands aus (Al,Ga,In)N zu Wafern, die eine Dicke von ungefähr 100 bis ungefähr 1000 µm aufweisen.
 


Revendications

1. Procédé de formation d'un article de (Al, Ga, In)N auto-porteur par étapes comprenant :

l'amorçage de la croissance de matière de (Al, Ga, In)N sur un modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale ;

la séparation partielle de ladite matière initialement cultivée de (Al, Ga, In)N sur ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale ;

la croissance ininterrompue de ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N sur ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale ;

l'achèvement suivant de ladite croissance de matière de (Al, Ga, In)N, l'achèvement de l'enlèvement de ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N depuis ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale pour donner une matière de (Al, Ga, In)N auto-porteuse.


 
2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel au moins un de ladite séparation partielle et dudit enlèvement de matière de (AI, Ga, In)N depuis ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale est effectué en transmettant un faisceau laser à une interface entre ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N et ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale.
 
3. Procédé selon la revendication 2, dans lequel ladite croissance de matière de (Al, Ga, In)N sur ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale est effectuée dans un réacteur de croissance comprenant une matière transparente à un faisceau laser, et ladite transmission du faisceau laser comprend la transmission du faisceau laser à travers la matière transparente du réacteur de croissance jusqu'à une interface entre ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N et ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale.
 
4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite croissance de matière de (Al, Ga, In)N sur ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale est effectuée dans un réacteur de croissance, et dans lequel ledit enlèvement de ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N depuis ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale est effectué dans ledit réacteur de croissance.
 
5. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 ou 4, dans lequel le réacteur de croissance comprend un piédestal conçu pour supporter le modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale, et le procédé comprend en outre la rotation du piédestal pendant au moins une des étapes de séparation partielle et d'enlèvement.
 
6. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'enlèvement de ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N depuis ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale est achevé par au moins un de ce qui suit : refroidissement jusqu'à température ambiante, gravure chimique, et séparation par laser.
 
7. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :

ladite séparation partielle inclut n'importe laquelle due : (a) séparation par laser, (b) gravure chimique, (c) frappe d'énergie acoustique sur une interface entre ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N et ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale, (d) frappe sur ladite interface d'un milieu de frappe sélectionné à partir du groupe constitué de protons, d'ions et de faisceaux de particules, et (e) couplage RF avec ladite interface ; et

l'achèvement de l'enlèvement de ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N depuis le modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale inclut n'importe lequel de : (i) séparation par laser, (ii) gravure chimique, (iii) frappe d'énergie acoustique sur ladite interface, (iv) frappe sur ladite interface d'un milieu de frappe sélectionné à partir du groupe constitué de protons, d'ions et de faisceaux de particules, (v) couplage RF avec ladite interface, et (vi) refroidissement de la matière de (Al, Ga, In)N à température ambiante.


 
8. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7, dans lequel ladite croissance de matière de (Al, Ga, In)N comprend au moins une d'une épitaxie en phase vapeur d'hydrures (HVPE), une épitaxie en phase vapeur organométallique (MOVPE), un dépôt chimique en phase vapeur (CVD), et une épitaxie par faisceau moléculaire (MBE).
 
9. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite séparation partielle est effectuée à une température qui est dans les limites de 300 °C de la température à laquelle ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N est cultivée sur ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale.
 
10. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre la formation d'une intercouche entre le modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale et ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N.
 
11. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel après ladite séparation partielle, une matière suffisante de (Al, Ga, In)N reste au niveau d'une interface entre ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N et ledit modèle sacrificiel compatible de façon épitaxiale pour supporter ladite matière de (Al, Ga, In)N.
 
12. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la matière de (Al, Ga, In)N comprend une matière de (Al, Ga, In)N monocristalline.
 
13. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre la formation de l'article de (Al, Ga, In)N auto-porteur dans des plaquettes ayant une épaisseur d'environ 100 à environ 1 000 µm.
 




Drawing















REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description