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Study of structural, optical and electrical properties of InAs/InAsSb superlattices using multiple characterization techniques

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InAs/InAsSb type-II superlattices (T2SLs) can be considered as potential alternatives for conventional HgCdTe photodetectors due to improved uniformity, lower manufacturing costs with larger substrates, and possibly better device performance. This

InAs/InAsSb type-II superlattices (T2SLs) can be considered as potential alternatives for conventional HgCdTe photodetectors due to improved uniformity, lower manufacturing costs with larger substrates, and possibly better device performance. This dissertation presents a comprehensive study on the structural, optical and electrical properties of InAs/InAsSb T2SLs grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy.

The effects of different growth conditions on the structural quality were thoroughly investigated. Lattice-matched condition was successfully achieved and material of exceptional quality was demonstrated.

After growth optimization had been achieved, structural defects could hardly be detected, so different characterization techniques, including etch-pit-density (EPD) measurements, cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging and X-ray topography (XRT), were explored, in attempting to gain better knowledge of the sparsely distributed defects. EPD revealed the distribution of dislocation-associated pits across the wafer. Unfortunately, the lack of contrast in images obtained by CL imaging and XRT indicated their inability to provide any quantitative information about defect density in these InAs/InAsSb T2SLs.

The nBn photodetectors based on mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and long-wave infrared (LWIR) InAs/InAsSb T2SLs were fabricated. The significant difference in Ga composition in the barrier layer coupled with different dark current behavior, suggested the possibility of different types of band alignment between the barrier layers and the absorbers. A positive charge density of 1.8 × 1017/cm3 in the barrier of MWIR nBn photodetector, as determined by electron holography, confirmed the presence of a potential well in its valence band, thus identifying type-II alignment. In contrast, the LWIR nBn photodetector was shown to have type-I alignment because no sign of positive charge was detected in its barrier.

Capacitance-voltage measurements were performed to investigate the temperature dependence of carrier densities in a metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) structure based on MWIR InAs/InAsSb T2SLs, and a nBn structure based on LWIR InAs/InAsSb T2SLs. No carrier freeze-out was observed in either sample, indicating very shallow donor levels. The decrease in carrier density when temperature increased was attributed to the increased density of holes that had been thermally excited from localized states near the oxide/semiconductor interface in the MOS sample. No deep-level traps were revealed in deep-level transient spectroscopy temperature scans.

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  • 2015