Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry

Comparison of the Stability of Functionalized GaN and GaP.

PMID 25808181


Surface functionalization via 1 H,1 H,2 H,2H-perfluoro octanephosphonic acid was done in the presence of phosphoric acid to provide a simplified surface passivation technique for gallium nitride (GaN) and gallium phosphide (GaP). In an effort to identify the leading causes of surface instabilities, hydrogen peroxide was utilized as an additional chemical modification to cap unsatisfied bonds. The stability of the surfaces was studied in an aqueous environment and subsequently characterized. A physical characterization was carried out to evaluate the surface roughness and water hydrophobicity pre and post stability testing via atomic force microscopy and water goniometry. Surface-chemistry changes and solution leaching were quantified by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The results indicate a sensitivity to hydroxyl terminated species for both GaN and GaP under aqueous environments, as the increase of the degree of leaching was more significant for hydrogen peroxide treated samples. The results support the notion that hydroxyl species act as precursors to gallium oxide formation and lead to subsequent instability in aqueous solutions.