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Monolithic Heterovalent Integration of Compound Semiconductors and Their Applications

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Compound semiconductors tend to be more ionic if the cations and anions are further apart in atomic columns, such as II-VI compared to III-V compounds, due in part to the

Compound semiconductors tend to be more ionic if the cations and anions are further apart in atomic columns, such as II-VI compared to III-V compounds, due in part to the greater electronegativity difference between group-II and group-VI atoms. As the electronegativity between the atoms increases, the materials tend to have more insulator-like properties, including higher energy band gaps and lower indices of refraction. This enables significant differences in the optical and electronic properties between III-V, II-VI, and IV-VI semiconductors. Many of these binary compounds have similar lattice constants and therefore can be grown epitaxially on top of each other to create monolithic heterovalent and heterocrystalline heterostructures with optical and electronic properties unachievable in conventional isovalent heterostructures.

Due to the difference in vapor pressures and ideal growth temperatures between the different materials, precise growth methods are required to optimize the structural and optical properties of the heterovalent heterostructures. The high growth temperatures of the III-V materials can damage the II-VI barrier layers, and therefore a compromise must be found for the growth of high-quality III-V and II-VI layers in the same heterostructure. In addition, precise control of the interface termination has been shown to play a significant role in the crystal quality of the different layers in the structure. For non-polar orientations, elemental fluxes of group-II and group-V atoms consistently help to lower the stacking fault and dislocation density in the II-VI/III-V heterovalent heterostructures.

This dissertation examines the epitaxial growth of heterovalent and heterocrystalline heterostructures lattice-matched to GaAs, GaSb, and InSb substrates in a single-chamber growth system. The optimal growth conditions to achieve alternating layers of III-V, II-VI, and IV-VI semiconductors have been investigated using temperature ramps, migration-enhanced epitaxy, and elemental fluxes at the interface. GaSb/ZnTe distributed Bragg reflectors grown in this study significantly outperform similar isovalent GaSb-based reflectors and show great promise for mid-infrared applications. Also, carrier confinement in GaAs/ZnSe quantum wells was achieved with a low-temperature growth technique for GaAs on ZnSe. Additionally, nearly lattice-matched heterocrystalline PbTe/CdTe/InSb heterostructures with strong infrared photoluminescence were demonstrated, along with virtual (211) CdZnTe/InSb substrates with extremely low defect densities for long-wavelength optoelectronic applications.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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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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Date Created
  • 2012