Characterisation of nitride thin films by electron backscatter diffraction and electron channelling contrast imaging

C. Trager-Cowan, F. Sweeney, A. Winkelmann, A.J. Wilkinson, P.W. Trimby, A.P. Day, A. Gholinia, N.H. Schmidt, P.J. Parbrook, I.M. Watson

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In the present paper the authors describe the use of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) mapping and electron channelling contrast imaging (in the scanning electron microscope) to study tilt, strain, atomic steps and dislocations in epitaxial GaN thin films. Results from epitaxial GaN thin films and from a just coalesced epitaxial laterally overgrown GaN thin film are shown. From the results it is deduced that EBSD may be used to measure orientation changes of the order of 0·02° and strain changes of order 2 × 10−4 in GaN thin films. It is also demonstrated that channelling contrast in electron channelling contrast images may be used to image tilt, atomic steps and threading dislocations in GaN thin films. In addition the authors will consider the results of the first many-beam dynamical simulations of EBSD patterns from GaN thin films, in which the intensity distributions in the experimental patterns are accurately reproduced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1352-1358(7)
JournalMaterials Science and Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • nitride thin films
  • electron backscatter diffraction
  • electron channelling
  • contrast imaging
  • nanoscience

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