Self-assembled InN nanocolumns were grown at low temperatures by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy with a high crystalline quality. The self-assembling procedure was carried out on AlN/Al layers on Si(111) substrates avoiding the masking process. The Al interlayer on the Si(111) substrate prevented the formation of amorphous SiN. We found that the growth mechanism at 400 ∘ C of InN nanocolumns started by a layer-layer (2D) nucleation, followed by the growth of 3D islands. This growth mechanism promoted the nanocolumn formation without strain. The nanocolumnar growth proceeded with cylindrical and conical shapes with heights between 250 and 380 nm. Detailed high-resolution transmission electron microscopy analysis showed that the InN nanocolumns have a hexagonal crystalline structure, free of dislocation and other defects. The analysis of the phonon modes also allowed us to identify the hexagonal structure of the nanocolumns. In addition, the photoluminescence spectrum showed an energy transition of 0.72 eV at 20 K for the InN nanocolumns, confirmed by photoreflectance spectroscopy.
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics