A vapor phase epitaxy (VPE) system has been designed to grow high quality gallium nitride layers under the deposition temperature of 990°C and the pressure range of 200–800 Torr. For the better understanding of the deposition mechanism of GaN layers, a numerical model that is capable of describing multi-component fluid flow, gas/surface chemistry, conjugate heat transfer, thermal radiation, and species transport, has been developed to help in design and optimization of the epitaxy growth system. The vacuum area between heaters and reactor tube is simulated as a solid body with small thermal conductivity and totally transparent to radiative heat transfer. Simulation results were compared to the experimental data to examine the temperature distribution achieved inside the growth reactor. To optimize operating parameters, the reaction mechanism for GaN in the VPE system has been identified, and the comprehensive computational simulations have been performed to study the temperature distribution, species mixing process, ammonia decomposition process and GaN deposition rate distribution on the substrate. Parametric studies have been performed to investigate the effects of operational and geometric conditions, such as temperature, reacting/carrier gas flow rate and distance between the substrate and the nozzle, on species mixing process and GaN deposition uniformity. The relationship between gas flow rate and III/V ratio achieved on the substrate will be established.

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