The influence of surface oxidation on the low-loss spectrum of aluminum nitride (AlN) is investigated in electron energy-loss spectroscopy with scanning transmission electron microscopy. Contrary to intrinsic bulk AlN, oxidized AlN exhibits considerable spectral broadening both in the full width at half maximum of bulk plasmon and the subsidiary features. The modification in the low-loss lineshapes due to oxidation significantly complicates the determination of the dielectric function intrinsic to AlN. Simulations based on dielectric theory qualitatively consist with the experimental results while incorporating thick overlayers, further suggesting that the surface oxide of AlN can be rough and porous in nature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)