Microstructural response of gallium nitride (GaN) films, grown by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, was studied as a function of applied electrical field. In-situ transmission electron microscopy showed sudden change in the electron diffraction pattern reflecting domain switching at around 20 V bias, applied perpendicular to the polarization direction. No such switching was observed for thicker films or for the field applied along the polarization direction. This anomalous behavior is explained by the nanoscale size effects on the piezoelectric coefficients of GaN, which can be 2-3 times larger than the bulk value. As a result, a large amount of internal energy can be imparted in 100 nm thick films to induce domain switching at relatively lower voltages to induce such events at the bulk scale.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)