Journal of Inorganic Materials ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 228-242.DOI: 10.15541/jim20220620

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Research Progress of ScAlMgO4 Crystal: a Novel GaN and ZnO Substrate

ZHANG Chaoyi1(), TANG Huili1(), LI Xianke1, WANG Qingguo1, LUO Ping1, WU Feng1, ZHANG Chenbo1, XUE Yanyan1, XU Jun1(), HAN Jianfeng2, LU Zhanwen2   

  1. 1. MOE Key Laboratory of Advanced Micro-Structured Materials, School of Physics Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
    2. Linton Kayex Technology Co., Ltd., Wuxi 214000, China
  • Received:2022-10-20 Revised:2022-11-17 Published:2023-01-19 Online:2023-01-19
  • Contact: TANG Huili, associate professor. E-mail:;
    XU Jun, professor. E-mail:
  • About author:ZHANG Chaoyi (1998-), male, PhD candidate. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(52032009);National Natural Science Foundation of China(61621001);National Natural Science Foundation of China(62075166)


Since the beginning of the 21st century, the third generation wide band gap (Eg>2.3 eV) semiconductor materials represented by gallium nitride (GaN) and zinc oxide (ZnO) are becoming the core supporting materials for development of semiconductor industry. Due to difficult growth and high cost of GaN and ZnO single crystal, epitaxial technology is always used as the substrate materials to grow GaN and ZnO films. Therefore, it is crucial to find an ideal substrate material for the development of third generation semiconductor. Compared with traditional substrate materials, such as sapphire, 6H-SiC and GaAs, scandium magnesium aluminate (ScAlMgO4) crystal, as a new self-peeling substrate material, has attracted much attention because of its small lattice mismatch rate (~1.4% and ~0.09%, respectively) and suitable thermal expansion coefficient with GaN and ZnO. In this paper, based on structure of ScAlMgO4 crystal, the unique trigonal bipyramid coordination and natural superlattice structure, the basis for its thermal and electrical properties, are introduced in detail. In addition, the layered structure of ScAlMgO4 crystal along the c-axis makes it self-peeling, which greatly reduces its preparation cost and has a good application prospect in the preparation of self-supported GaN films. However, the raw material of ScAlMgO4 is difficult to synthesize, and the crystal growth method is single, mainly through the Czochralski method (Cz), and growing techniques now in China lag far behind that in Japan. Therefore, it is urgent to develop a new growth method of growing high quality and large size ScAlMgO4 crystals to break the technical barriers.

Key words: ScAlMgO4, self-peeling substrate, lattice matching, crystal growth, epitaxy, review

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