AlN thin films have been grown on c -cut sapphire substrates by pulsed-laser deposition. The film epitaxially grown at 1073 K under vacuum of 5× 10-4 Pa was used to examine the crystallographic orientation dependence of Al K -edge x-ray absorption near-edge structures (XANES), which satisfactorily agrees with theoretical spectra obtained by first-principles calculations. The film grown at 1073 K with N2 backfill of 7× 10-2 Pa shows nanotextured structure with its c plane parallel to the substrate. Although the nanotexture is not evident by x-ray diffraction, XANES can unambiguously indicate the texturing. Cross-sectional high-resolution electron microscopy provides the evidence of the nanostructure.
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