Skip to main content

Laser liftoff of gallium arsenide thin films

  • Garrett J. Hayes (a1) and Bruce M. Clemens (a1)

The high cost of single-crystal III–V substrates limits the use of gallium arsenide (GaAs) and related sphalerite III–V materials in many applications, especially photovoltaics. However, by making devices from epitaxially grown III–V layers that are separated from a growth substrate, one can recycle the growth substrate to reduce costs. Here, we show damage-free removal of an epitaxial single-crystal GaAs film from its GaAs growth substrate using a laser that is absorbed by a smaller band gap, pseudomorphic indium gallium arsenide nitride layer grown between the substrate and the GaAs film. The liftoff process transfers the GaAs film to a flexible polymer substrate, and the transferred GaAs layer is indistinguishable in structural quality from its growth substrate.

Corresponding author
Address all correspondence to Garrett J. Hayes
Hide All
1.Konagai, M., Sugimoto, M., and Takahashi, K.: High efficiency GaAs thin film solar cells by peeled film technology. J. Cryst. Growth 45, 277 (1978).
2.Yablonovitch, E., Gmitter, T., Harbison, J.P., and Bhat, R.: Extreme selectivity in the lift-off of epitaxial GaAs films. Appl. Phys. Lett. 51, 2222 (1987).
3.Schermer, J.J., Mulder, P., Bauhuis, G.J., Voncken, M.M.A.J., van Deelen, J., Haverkamp, E., and Larsen, P.K.: Epitaxial lift-off for large area thin film III/V devices. Phys. Status Solidi a 202, 501 (2005).
4.Cheng, C.W., Shiu, K.T., Li, N., Han, S.J., Shi, L., and Sadana, D.K.: Epitaxial lift-off process for gallium arsenide substrate reuse and flexible electronics. Nat. Commun. 4, 1577 (2013).
5.Hayes, G.J. and Clemens, B.M.: Rapid liftoff of epitaxial thin films. J. Mater. Res. 28, 2564 (2013).
6.Wong, W.S., Sands, T., and Cheung, N.W.: Damage-free separation of GaN thin films from sapphire substrates. Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 599 (1998).
7.Wong, W.S., Sands, T., Cheung, N.W., Kneissl, M., Bour, D.P., Mei, P., Romano, L.T., and Johnson, N.M.: Fabrication of thin-film InGaN light-emitting diode membranes by laser lift-off. Appl. Phys. Lett. 75, 1360 (1999).
8.Wong, W.S., Wengrow, A.B., Cho, Y., Salleo, A., Quitoriano, N.J., Cheung, N.W., and Sands, T.: Integration of GaN thin films with dissimilar substrate materials by Pd–In metal bonding and laser lift-off. J. Electron. Mater. 28, 1409 (1999).
9.Stach, E.A., Kelsch, M., Nelson, E.C., Wong, W.S., Sands, T., and Cheung, N.W.: Structural and chemical characterization of free-standing GaN films separated from sapphire substrates by laser lift-off. Appl. Phys. Lett. 77, 1819 (2000).
10.Henini, M.: Dilute Nitride Semiconductors (Elsevier, London, UK, 2004), pp. 181.
11.Kurtz, S.R., Allerman, A.A., Jones, E.D., Gee, J.M., Banas, J.J., and Hammons, B.E.: InGaAsN solar cells with 1.0 eV band gap, lattice matched to GaAs. Appl. Phys. Lett. 74, 729 (1999).
12.Kudrawiec, R.: Alloying of GaNx As1−x with InNx As1−x: a simple formula for the band gap parametrization of Ga1−yIny NxAs1−x alloys. J. Appl. Phys. 101, 023522 (2007).
13.Hjort, K.: Sacrificial etching of III-V compounds for micromechanical devices. J. Micromech. Microeng. 6, 370 (1996).
14.Cullity, B.D. and Stock, S.R.: Elements of X-ray Diffraction, 2nd ed. (Prentice-Hall, Massachusetts, USA, 1978), pp. 233280, 512–513.
15.Hayes, G.J.: Paths toward lower cost, high efficiency thin film solar cells. Ph.D. Dissertation, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2014, pp. 7–33.
16.Schwarz, S., Kempshall, B., and Giannuzzi, L.: Avoiding the curtaining effect: backside milling by FIB INLO. Microsc. Microanal. 9(Suppl. 2), 116 (2003).
17.Kaganer, V.: Crystal truncation rods in kinematical and dynamical x-ray diffraction theories. Phys. Rev. B 75, 245425 (2007).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

MRS Communications
  • ISSN: 2159-6859
  • EISSN: 2159-6867
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-communications
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Hayes and Clemens supplementary materials
Figure S1-S6

 Unknown (2.1 MB)
2.1 MB
Supplementary materials

Hayes and Clemens supplementary materials
Hayes and Clemens supplementary materials 1

 Word (46 KB)
46 KB


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 15
Total number of PDF views: 71 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 952 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd March 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.