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Structural characterization of II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor heterostructures and superlattices

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The research described in this dissertation has involved the use of transmission electron microcopy (TEM) to characterize the structural properties of II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor heterostructures and superlattices. The

The research described in this dissertation has involved the use of transmission electron microcopy (TEM) to characterize the structural properties of II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor heterostructures and superlattices. The microstructure of thick ZnTe epilayers (~2.4 µm) grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) under virtually identical conditions on GaSb, InAs, InP and GaAs (100) substrates were compared using TEM. High-resolution electron micrographs revealed a highly coherent interface for the ZnTe/GaSb sample, and showed extensive areas with well-separated interfacial misfit dislocations for the ZnTe/InAs sample. Lomer edge dislocations and 60o dislocations were commonly observed at the interfaces of the ZnTe/InP and ZnTe/GaAs samples. The amount of residual strain at the interfaces was estimated to be 0.01% for the ZnTe/InP sample and -0.09% for the ZnTe/GaAs sample. Strong PL spectra for all ZnTe samples were observed from 80 to 300 K. High quality GaSb grown by MBE on ZnTe/GaSb (001) virtual substrates with a temperature ramp at the beginning of the GaSb growth has been demonstrated. High-resolution X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed clear Pendellösung thickness fringes from both GaSb and ZnTe epilayers. Cross-section TEM images showed excellent crystallinity and smooth morphology for both ZnTe/GaSb and GaSb/ZnTe interfaces. Plan-view TEM image revealed the presence of Lomer dislocations at the interfaces and threading dislocations in the top GaSb layer. The defect density was estimated to be ~1 x107/cm2. The PL spectra showed improved optical properties when using the GaSb transition layer grown on ZnTe with a temperature ramp. The structural properties of strain-balanced InAs/InAs1-xSbx SLs grown on GaSb (001) substrates by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) and MBE, have been studied using XRD and TEM. Excellent structural quality of the InAs/InAs1-xSbx SLs grown by MOCVD has been demonstrated. Well-defined ordered-alloy structures within individual InAs1-xSbx layers were observed for samples grown by modulated MBE. However, the ordering disappeared when defects propagating through the SL layers appeared during growth. For samples grown by conventional MBE, high-resolution images revealed that interfaces for InAs1-xSbx grown on InAs layers were sharper than for InAs grown on InAs1-xSbx layers, most likely due to a Sb surfactant segregation effect.

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  • 2012

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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