The epitaxy optimization studies of high-quality n-type AlInN alloys with different indium contents grown on two types of substrates by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) were carried out. The effect of growth pressure and V/III molar ratio on growth rate, indium content, and surface morphology of these MOVPE-grown AlInN thin films were examined. The surface morphologies of the samples were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. By varying the growth temperatures from 860 °C to 750 °C, the indium contents in AlInN alloys were increased from 0.37% up to 21.4% as determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements. The optimization studies on the growth conditions for achieving nearly-lattice-matched AlInN on GaN templates residing on sapphire and free-standing GaN substrates were performed, and the results were analyzed in a comparative way. Several applications of AlInN alloy for thermoelectric and light-emitting diodes are also discussed.
► MOVPE growth optimization of AlInN alloy on GaN template and free-standing substrate. ► Lower growth pressure and higher V/III ratio led to improved AlInN material quality. ► Lower growth temperature led to higher In-content with 780 °C to achieve Al0.83In0.17N. ► The use of GaN native substrate results in reduced material surface roughness and defects. ► The potential of AlInN for LEDs and thermoelectric applications are presented.