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Structural and optical properties of molecular beam epitaxy grown inAsBi bulk layers and quantum wells

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InAsBi is a narrow direct gap III-V semiconductor that has recently attracted considerable attention because its bandgap is tunable over a wide range of mid- and long-wave infrared wavelengths for optoelectronic applications. Furthermore, InAsBi can be integrated with other

InAsBi is a narrow direct gap III-V semiconductor that has recently attracted considerable attention because its bandgap is tunable over a wide range of mid- and long-wave infrared wavelengths for optoelectronic applications. Furthermore, InAsBi can be integrated with other III-V materials and is potentially an alternative to commercial II-VI photodetector materials such as HgCdTe.

Several 1 μm thick, nearly lattice-matched InAsBi layers grown on GaSb are examined using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry and X-ray diffraction. Random Rutherford backscattering measurements indicate that the average Bi mole fraction ranges from 0.0503 to 0.0645 for the sample set, and ion channeling measurements indicate that the Bi atoms are substitutional. The X-ray diffraction measurements show a diffraction sideband near the main (004) diffraction peak, indicating that the Bi mole fraction is not laterally uniform in the layer. The average out of plane tetragonal distortion is determined by modeling the main and sideband diffraction peaks, from which the average unstrained lattice constant of each sample is determined. By comparing the Bi mole fraction measured by random Rutherford backscattering with the InAsBi lattice constant for the sample set, the lattice constant of zinc blende InBi is determined to be 6.6107 Å.

Several InAsBi quantum wells tensilely strained to the GaSb lattice constant with dilute quantities of Bi are characterized using photoluminescence spectroscopy. Investigation of the integrated intensity as a function of carrier excitation density spanning 5×1025 to 5×1026 cm-3 s-1 indicates radiative dominated recombination and high quantum efficiency over the 12 to 250 K temperature range. The bandgap of InAsBi is ascertained from the photoluminescence spectra and parameterized as a function of temperature using the Einstein single oscillator model. The dilute Bi mole fraction of the InAsBi quantum wells is determined by comparing the measured bandgap energy to that predicted by the valence band anticrossing model. The Bi mole fraction determined by photoluminescence agrees reasonably well with that estimated using secondary ion mass spectrometry.

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2016

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Growth, optical properties, and optimization of infrared optoelectronic materials

Description

High-performance III-V semiconductors based on ternary alloys and superlattice systems are fabricated, studied, and compared for infrared optoelectronic applications. InAsBi is a ternary alloy near the GaSb lattice constant that is not as thoroughly investigated as other III-V alloys

High-performance III-V semiconductors based on ternary alloys and superlattice systems are fabricated, studied, and compared for infrared optoelectronic applications. InAsBi is a ternary alloy near the GaSb lattice constant that is not as thoroughly investigated as other III-V alloys and that is challenging to produce as Bi has a tendency to surface segregate and form droplets during growth rather than incorporate. A growth window is identified within which high-quality droplet-free bulk InAsBi is produced and Bi mole fractions up to 6.4% are obtained. Photoluminescence with high internal quantum efficiency is observed from InAs/InAsBi quantum wells. The high structural and optical quality of the InAsBi materials examined demonstrates that bulk, quantum well, and superlattice structures utilizing InAsBi are an important design option for efficient infrared coverage.

Another important infrared material system is InAsSb and the strain-balanced InAs/InAsSb superlattice on GaSb. Detailed examination of X-ray diffraction, photoluminescence, and spectroscopic ellipsometry data provides the temperature and composition dependent bandgap of bulk InAsSb. The unintentional incorporation of approximately 1% Sb into the InAs layers of the superlattice is measured and found to significantly impact the analysis of the InAs/InAsSb band alignment. In the analysis of the absorption spectra, the ground state absorption coefficient and transition strength of the superlattice are proportional to the square of the electron-hole wavefunction overlap; wavefunction overlap is therefore a major design parameter in terms of optimizing absorption in these materials. Furthermore in addition to improvements through design optimization, the optical quality of the materials studied is found to be positively enhanced with the use of Bi as a surfactant during molecular beam epitaxy growth.

A software tool is developed that calculates and optimizes the miniband structure of semiconductor superlattices, including bismide-based designs. The software has the capability to limit results to designs that can be produced with high structural and optical quality, and optimized designs in terms of maximizing absorption are identified for several infrared superlattice systems at the GaSb lattice constant. The accuracy of the software predictions are tested with the design and growth of an optimized mid-wave infrared InAs/InAsSb superlattice which exhibits superior optical and absorption properties.

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Date Created
2016