The sublimation route is one of the primary and most significant methods for the synthesis of an aluminum nitride (AlN) single crystal. Its long synthesis time and high reaction temperature, however, limit the production of its commercial product. In this work, we applied HSC Chemistry 6 software, ab initio molecular dynamics, and X-ray diffraction to investigate the thermal decomposition of AlN. We calculated the decomposition temperatures of AlN under vacuum and simulated the decomposition mechanism of AlN by the ab initio molecular dynamics method. According to the thermodynamic calculations, the decomposition temperature of AlN decreased following a decrease in the system pressure. The ab initio molecular dynamics results indicated that wurtzite-type AlN (w-AlN) was decomposed by the layer-by-layer mechanism and followed a decomposition reaction equation of AlN → Al(g) + 0.29N2(g) + 0.42N(g), which originated from the inequality sp 3 hybridization. The zinc-type AlN (z-AlN) decomposed from the surface to interior of the structure because of the equality of the sp 3 hybridization, and the z-AlN decomposition reaction equation followed AlN → Al(g) + 0.5N2(g). The AlN decomposition experiments further verified that Al(g) was the product of the wurtzite-type AlN thermal decomposition. This work can provide valuable information for the preparation of the AlN single crystal.
Journal of Materials Science – Springer Journals
Published: May 22, 2018
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