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Tailoring of polar and nonpolar ZnO planes on MgO (001) substrates through molecular beam epitaxy

Hua Zhou1, Hui-Qiong Wang12*, Xia-Xia Liao1, Yufeng Zhang1, Jin-Cheng Zheng1, Jia-Ou Wang3, Emin Muhemmed3, Hai-Jie Qian3, Kurash Ibrahim3, Xiaohang Chen1, Huahan Zhan1 and Junyong Kang1

Author affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Semiconductors and Applications of Fujian Province, Department of Physics, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005, People's Republic of China

2 State Key Lab of Silicon Materials, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, People's Republic of China

3 Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, People's Republic of China

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:184  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-184

Published: 9 March 2012


Polar and nonpolar ZnO thin films were deposited on MgO (001) substrates under different deposition parameters using oxygen plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). The orientations of ZnO thin films were investigated by in situ reflection high-energy electron diffraction and ex situ X-ray diffraction (XRD). The film roughness measured by atomic force microscopy evolved as a function of substrate temperature and was correlated with the grain sizes determined by XRD. Synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) was performed to study the conduction band structures of the ZnO films. The fine structures of the XAS spectra, which were consistent with the results of density functional theory calculation, indicated that the polar and nonpolar ZnO films had different electronic structures. Our work suggests that it is possible to vary ZnO film structures from polar to nonpolar using the MBE growth technique and hence tailoring the electronic structures of the ZnO films.

PACS: 81; 81.05.Dz; 81.15.Hi.

ZnO; MgO; polar; nonpolar; RHEED; XRD; XAS