Computational Fluid Dynamics-Aided Analysis of a Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy Reactor

Kevin L. Schulte, John Simon, Abhra Roy, Robert C. Reedy, David L. Young, Thomas F. Kuech, Aaron J. Ptak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus Citations


We report the development of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a dual chamber hydride vapor phase epitaxial (HVPE) growth reactor. Uniformity of reactant concentrations in the growth stream, transient reactor flows, and cross doping between the two growth chambers, all factors critical to the deposition of uniform, low defect semiconductor layers, were modeled. Simulation results were generated by solving the fundamental continuity, momentum and energy equations over a discretized reactor volume by a finite volume analysis with the aid of CFD-ACE+ commercial software. We demonstrated uniformity of the vapor composition within ±1% across the substrate, achieved due to specific features of the reactor design. Small compositional non-uniformity (±2% absolute) in In1-xGaxP layers grown in our reactor was correlated with calculated temperature non-uniformity across the substrate. Gas switching was modeled and the transient time predicted by the model was confirmed by measurement of doping transients in a sample grown in the reactor. Lastly the gas curtains that chemically isolate the reactor chambers were modeled and the results were compared to experimental data for cross doping between the chambers. As an example, we demonstrate, based on insight from the model, that our HVPE reactor is suitable for the deposition of GaAs PV devices. CFD modeling is a critical tool for the scale up of laboratory level processes to industrial levels.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-64594


  • computer simulations
  • fluid flows
  • hydride vapor phase epitaxy
  • Semiconducting III""V materials
  • solar cells


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