Based on the density functional theory (DFT), we theoretically investigate the growth mechanism of GaN (0001) using the Metal-Organic Vapor-Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE). We first identify the structure of the growing Ga rich GaN (0001) surface, then study the adsorption of NHx (x = 0–3) on such surface. We find that NH2 and NH units spontaneously intervene in the Ga-Ga weak bonds on the Ga-rich GaN (0001) surface. A reaction pathway of decomposition of NH3 on Ga rich surface is revealed. During reaction, N is found to incorporate in the weak Ga-Ga bond and form – Ga – (NH) – Ga – structure. The activation barrier of NH3 is surprisingly small, just 0.63 eV. We also explore the decomposition of NH2 to N to form Ga-N network and find the plausible reaction pathway with the energy barrier of 2 eV. Taking into account the chemical potential of an H2 molecule in the gas phase at the growth temperature, we find that this reaction can be overcome. This NH3 decomposition mechanism and the N incorporation on GaN is a new growth mechanism catalyzed by the growing surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry