Matching Items (14)

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Determination of electrostatic potential and charge distribution of semiconductor nanostructures using off-axis electron holography

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The research of this dissertation involved quantitative characterization of electrostatic potential and charge distribution of semiconductor nanostructures using off-axis electron holography, as well as other electron microscopy techniques. The investigated nanostructures included Ge quantum dots, Ge/Si core/shell nanowires, and polytype

The research of this dissertation involved quantitative characterization of electrostatic potential and charge distribution of semiconductor nanostructures using off-axis electron holography, as well as other electron microscopy techniques. The investigated nanostructures included Ge quantum dots, Ge/Si core/shell nanowires, and polytype heterostructures in ZnSe nanobelts. Hole densities were calculated for the first two systems, and the spontaneous polarization for wurtzite ZnSe was determined. Epitaxial Ge quantum dots (QDs) embedded in boron-doped silicon were studied. Reconstructed phase images showed extra phase shifts near the base of the QDs, which was attributed to hole accumulation in these regions. The resulting charge density was (0.03±0.003) holes
m3, which corresponded to about 30 holes localized to a pyramidal, 25-nm-wide Ge QD. This value was in reasonable agreement with the average number of holes confined to each Ge dot determined using a capacitance-voltage measurement. Hole accumulation in Ge/Si core/shell nanowires was observed and quantified using off-axis electron holography and other electron microscopy techniques. High-angle annular-dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy images and electron holograms were obtained from specific nanowires. The intensities of the former were utilized to calculate the projected thicknesses for both the Ge core and the Si shell. The excess phase shifts measured by electron holography across the nanowires indicated the presence of holes inside the Ge cores. The hole density in the core regions was calculated to be (0.4±0.2)
m3 based on a simplified coaxial cylindrical model. Homogeneous zincblende/wurtzite heterostructure junctions in ZnSe nanobelts were studied. The observed electrostatic fields and charge accumulation were attributed to spontaneous polarization present in the wurtzite regions since the contributions from piezoelectric polarization were shown to be insignificant based on geometric phase analysis. The spontaneous polarization for the wurtzite ZnSe was calculated to be psp = -(0.0029±0.00013) C/m2, whereas a first principles' calculation gave psp = -0.0063 C/m2. The atomic arrangements and polarity continuity at the zincblende/wurtzite interface were determined through aberration-corrected high-angle annular-dark-field imaging, which revealed no polarity reversal across the interface. Overall, the successful outcomes of these studies confirmed the capability of off-axis electron holography to provide quantitative electrostatic information for nanostructured materials.

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Date Created
2011

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Models for amorphous calcium carbonate

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Many species e.g. sea urchin form amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) precursor phases that subsequently transform into crystalline CaCO3. It is certainly possible that the biogenic ACC might have more than 10 wt% Mg and ∼ 3 wt% of water. The

Many species e.g. sea urchin form amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) precursor phases that subsequently transform into crystalline CaCO3. It is certainly possible that the biogenic ACC might have more than 10 wt% Mg and ∼ 3 wt% of water. The structure of ACC and the mechanisms by which it transforms to crystalline phase are still poorly understood. In this dissertation our goal is to determine an atomic structure model that is consistent with diffraction and IR measurements of ACC. For this purpose a calcite supercell with 24 formula units, containing 120 atoms, was constructed. Various configurations with substitution of Ca by 6 Mg ions (6 wt.%) and insertion of 3-5 H2O molecules (2.25-3.75 wt.%) in the interstitial positions of the supercell, were relaxed using a robust density function code VASP. The most noticeable effects were the tilts of CO3 groups and the distortion of Ca sub-lattice, especially in the hydrated case. The distributions of Ca-Ca nearest neighbor distance and CO3 tilts were extracted from various configurations. The same methods were also applied to aragonite. Sampling from the calculated distortion distributions, we built models for amorphous calcite/aragonite of size ∼ 1700 nm3 based on a multi-scale modeling scheme. We used these models to generate diffraction patterns and profiles with our diffraction code. We found that the induced distortions were not enough to generate a diffraction profile typical of an amorphous material. We then studied the diffraction profiles from several nano-crystallites as recent studies suggest that ACC might be a random array of nanocryatallites. It was found that the generated diffraction profile from a nano-crystallite of size ∼ 2 nm3 is similar to that from the ACC.

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Date Created
2012

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Quantitative phase imaging of magnetic nanostructures using off-axis electron holography

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The research of this dissertation has involved the nanoscale quantitative characterization of patterned magnetic nanostructures and devices using off-axis electron holography and Lorentz microscopy. The investigation focused on different materials of interest, including monolayer Co nanorings, multilayer Co/Cu/Py (Permalloy, Ni81Fe19)

The research of this dissertation has involved the nanoscale quantitative characterization of patterned magnetic nanostructures and devices using off-axis electron holography and Lorentz microscopy. The investigation focused on different materials of interest, including monolayer Co nanorings, multilayer Co/Cu/Py (Permalloy, Ni81Fe19) spin-valve nanorings, and notched Py nanowires, which were fabricated via a standard electron-beam lithography (EBL) and lift-off process. Magnetization configurations and reversal processes of Co nanorings, with and without slots, were observed. Vortex-controlled switching behavior with stepped hysteresis loops was identified, with clearly defined onion states, vortex states, flux-closure (FC) states, and Omega states. Two distinct switching mechanisms for the slotted nanorings, depending on applied field directions relative to the slot orientations, were attributed to the vortex chirality and shape anisotropy. Micromagnetic simulations were in good agreement with electron holography observations of the Co nanorings, also confirming the switching field of 700-800 Oe. Co/Cu/Py spin-valve slotted nanorings exhibited different remanent states and switching behavior as a function of the different directions of the applied field relative to the slots. At remanent state, the magnetizations of Co and Py layers were preferentially aligned in antiparallel coupled configuration, with predominant configurations in FC or onion states. Two-step and three-step hysteresis loops were quantitatively determined for nanorings with slots perpendicular, or parallel to the applied field direction, respectively, due to the intrinsic coercivity difference and interlayer magnetic coupling between Co and Py layers. The field to reverse both layers was on the order of ~800 Oe. Domain-wall (DW) motion within Py nanowires (NWs) driven by an in situ magnetic field was visualized and quantified. Different aspects of DW behavior, including nucleation, injection, pinning, depinning, relaxation, and annihilation, occurred depending on applied field strength. A unique asymmetrical DW pinning behavior was recognized, depending on DW chirality relative to the sense of rotation around the notch. The transverse DWs relaxed into vortex DWs, followed by annihilation in a reversed field, which was in agreement with micromagnetic simulations. Overall, the success of these studies demonstrated the capability of off-axis electron holography to provide valuable insights for understanding magnetic behavior on the nanoscale.

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Date Created
2010

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Characterization of HgCdTe and related materials and substrates for third generation infrared detectors

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HgCdTe is currently the dominant material for infrared sensing and imaging, and is usually grown on lattice-matched bulk CdZnTe (CZT) substrates. There have been significant recent efforts to identify alternative substrates to CZT as well as alternative detector materials to

HgCdTe is currently the dominant material for infrared sensing and imaging, and is usually grown on lattice-matched bulk CdZnTe (CZT) substrates. There have been significant recent efforts to identify alternative substrates to CZT as well as alternative detector materials to HgCdTe. In this dissertation research, a wide range of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging and analytical techniques was used in the characterization of epitaxial HgCdTe and related materials and substrates for third generation IR detectors. ZnTe layers grown on Si substrates are considered to be promising candidates for lattice-matched, large-area, and low-cost composite substrates for deposition of II-VI and III-V compound semiconductors with lattice constants near 6.1 Å. After optimizing MBE growth conditions including substrate pretreatment prior to film growth, as well as nucleation and growth temperatures, thick ZnTe/Si films with high crystallinity, low defect density, and excellent surface morphology were achieved. Changes in the Zn/Te flux ratio used during growth were also investigated. Small-probe microanalysis confirmed that a small amount of As was present at the ZnTe/Si interface. A microstructural study of HgCdTe/CdTe/GaAs (211)B and CdTe/GaAs (211)B heterostructures grown using MBE was carried out. High quality MBE-grown CdTe on GaAs(211)B substrates was demonstrated to be a viable composite substrate platform for HgCdTe growth. In addition, analysis of interfacial misfit dislocations and residual strain showed that the CdTe/GaAs interface was fully relaxed. In the case of HgCdTe/CdTe/ GaAs(211)B, thin HgTe buffer layers between HgCdTe and CdTe were also investigated for improving the HgCdTe crystal quality. A set of ZnTe layers epitaxially grown on GaSb(211)B substrates using MBE was studied using high resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) measurements and TEM characterization in order to investigate conditions for defect-free growth. HRXRD results gave critical thickness estimates between 350 nm and 375 nm, in good agreement with theoretical predictions. Moreover, TEM results confirmed that ZnTe layers with thicknesses of 350 nm had highly coherent interfaces and very low dislocation densities, unlike samples with the thicker ZnTe layers.

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2012

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Fluctuation electron microscopy of amorphous and polycrystalline materials

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Fluctuation Electron Microscopy (FEM) has become an effective materials' structure characterization technique, capable of probing medium-range order (MRO) that may be present in amorphous materials. Although its sensitivity to MRO has been exercised in numerous studies, FEM is not yet

Fluctuation Electron Microscopy (FEM) has become an effective materials' structure characterization technique, capable of probing medium-range order (MRO) that may be present in amorphous materials. Although its sensitivity to MRO has been exercised in numerous studies, FEM is not yet a quantitative technique. The holdup has been the discrepancy between the computed kinematical variance and the experimental variance, which previously was attributed to source incoherence. Although high-brightness, high coherence, electron guns are now routinely available in modern electron microscopes, they have not eliminated this discrepancy between theory and experiment. The main objective of this thesis was to explore, and to reveal, the reasons behind this conundrum.

The study was started with an analysis of the speckle statistics of tilted dark-field TEM images obtained from an amorphous carbon sample, which confirmed that the structural ordering is sensitively detected by FEM. This analysis also revealed the inconsistency between predictions of the source incoherence model and the experimentally observed variance.

FEM of amorphous carbon, amorphous silicon and ultra nanocrystalline diamond samples was carried out in an attempt to explore the conundrum. Electron probe and sample parameters were varied to observe the scattering intensity variance behavior. Results were compared to models of probe incoherence, diffuse scattering, atom displacement damage, energy loss events and multiple scattering. Models of displacement decoherence matched the experimental results best.

Decoherence was also explored by an interferometric diffraction method using bilayer amorphous samples, and results are consistent with strong displacement decoherence in addition to temporal decoherence arising from the electron source energy spread and energy loss events in thick samples.

It is clear that decoherence plays an important role in the long-standing discrepancy between experimental FEM and its theoretical predictions.

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Date Created
2015

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Characterization of HgCdTe and related materials for third generation infrared detectors

Description

Hg1-xCdxTe (MCT) has historically been the primary material used for infrared detectors. Recently, alternative substrates for MCT growth such as Si, as well as alternative infrared materials such as Hg1-xCdxSe, have been explored. This dissertation involves characterization of Hg-based infrared

Hg1-xCdxTe (MCT) has historically been the primary material used for infrared detectors. Recently, alternative substrates for MCT growth such as Si, as well as alternative infrared materials such as Hg1-xCdxSe, have been explored. This dissertation involves characterization of Hg-based infrared materials for third generation infrared detectors using a wide range of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques.

A microstructural study on HgCdTe/CdTe heterostructures grown by MBE on Si (211) substrates showed a thin ZnTe layer grown between CdTe and Si to mediate the large lattice mismatch of 19.5%. Observations showed large dislocation densities at the CdTe/ZnTe/Si (211) interfaces, which dropped off rapidly away from the interface. Growth of a thin HgTe buffer layer between HgCdTe and CdTe layers seemed to improve the HgCdTe layer quality by blocking some defects.

A second study investigated the correlation of etch pits and dislocations in as-grown and thermal-cycle-annealed (TCA) HgCdTe (211) films. For as-grown samples, pits with triangular and fish-eye shapes were associated with Frank partial and perfect dislocations, respectively. Skew pits were determined to have a more complex nature. TCA reduced the etch-pit density by 72%. Although TCA processing eliminated the fish-eye pits, dislocations reappeared in shorter segments in the TCA samples. Large pits were observed in both as-grown and TCA samples, but the nature of any defects associated with these pits in the as-grown samples is unclear.

Microstructural studies of HgCdSe revealed large dislocation density at ZnTe/Si(211) interfaces, which dropped off markedly with ZnTe thickness. Atomic-resolution STEM images showed that the large lattice mismatch at the ZnTe/Si interface was accommodated through {111}-type stacking faults. A detailed analysis showed that the stacking faults were inclined at angles of 19.5 and 90 degrees at both ZnTe/Si and HgCdSe/ZnTe interfaces. These stacking faults were associated with Shockley and Frank partial dislocations, respectively. Initial attempts to delineate individual dislocations by chemical etching revealed that while the etchants successfully attacked defective areas, many defects in close proximity to the pits were unaffected.

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Date Created
2017

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Transmission electron microscopy study of the two-dimensional electron gas at SrTiO3-based oxide interfaces

Description

The two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) at SrTiO3-based oxide interfaces has been extensively studied recently for its high carrier density, high electron mobility, superconducting, ferromagnetic, ferrroelectric and magnetoresistance properties, with possible application for all-oxide devices. Understanding the mechanisms behind the 2DEG

The two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) at SrTiO3-based oxide interfaces has been extensively studied recently for its high carrier density, high electron mobility, superconducting, ferromagnetic, ferrroelectric and magnetoresistance properties, with possible application for all-oxide devices. Understanding the mechanisms behind the 2DEG formation and factors affecting its properties is the primary objective of this dissertation.

Advanced electron microscopy techniques, including aberration-corrected electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) with energy-loss near-edge structure (ELNES) analysis, were used to characterize the interfaces. Image and spectrum data-processing algorithms, including subpixel atomic position measurement, and novel outlier detection by oversampling, subspace division based EELS background removal and bias-free endmember extraction algorithms for hyperspectral unmixing and mapping were heavily used. Results were compared with density functional theory (DFT) calculations for theoretical explanation.

For the γ-Al2O3/SrTiO3 system, negative-Cs imaging confirmed the formation of crystalline γ-Al2O3. ELNES hyperspectral unmixing combined with DFT calculations revealed that oxygen vacancies, rather than polar discontinuity, were the key to the 2DEG formation. The critical thickness can be explained by shift of the Fermi level due to Ti out diffusion from the substrate to the film.

At the LaTiO3/SrTiO3 interface, aberration-corrected imaging showed crystallinity deterioration in LaTiO3 films a few unit cells away from the interface. ELNES showed that oxygen annealing did not alter the crystallinity but converted Ti3+ near the interface into Ti4+, which explained disappearance of the conductivity.

At the EuO/SrTiO3 interface, both high-resolution imaging and ELNES confirmed EuO formation. ELNES hyperspectral unmixing showed a Ti3+ layer confined to within several unit cells of the interface on the SrTiO3 side, confirming the presence of oxygen vacancies.

At the BaTiO3/SrTiO3 interface, spontaneous polarization and local lattice parameters were measured directly in each unit cell column and compared with oxidation state mapping using ELNES with unit-cell resolution. The unusually large polarization near the interface and the polarization gradient were explained by oxygen vacancies and the piezoelectric effect due to epitaxial strain and strain gradient from relaxation.

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Date Created
2018

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Evaluation of compound semiconductors for infrared photo-detection applications

Description

In this dissertation research, conventional and aberration-corrected (AC) transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques were used to evaluate the structural and compositional properties of thin-film semiconductor compounds/alloys grown by molecular beam epitaxy for infrared photo-detection. Imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy techniques were

In this dissertation research, conventional and aberration-corrected (AC) transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques were used to evaluate the structural and compositional properties of thin-film semiconductor compounds/alloys grown by molecular beam epitaxy for infrared photo-detection. Imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy techniques were applied to TEM specimens in cross-section geometry to extract information about extended structural defects, chemical homogeneity and interface abruptness. The materials investigated included InAs1-xBix alloys grown on GaSb (001) substrates, InAs/InAs1-xSbx type-II superlattices grown on GaSb (001) substrates, and CdTe-based thin-film structures grown on InSb (001) substrates.

The InAsBi dilute-bismide epitaxial films were grown on GaSb (001) substrates at relatively low growth temperatures. The films were mostly free of extended defects, as observed in diffraction-contrast images, but the incorporation of bismuth was not homogeneous, as manifested by the lateral Bi-composition modulation and Bi-rich surface droplets. Successful Bi incorporation into the InAs matrix was confirmed using lattice expansion measurements obtained from misfit strain analysis of high-resolution TEM (HREM) images.

Analysis of averaged intensity line profiles in HREM and scanning TEM (STEM) images of the Ga-free InAs/InAs1-xSbx type-II strained superlattices indicated slight variations in layer thickness across the superlattice stack. The interface abruptness was evaluated using misfit strain analysis of AC-STEM images, electron energy-loss spectroscopy and 002 dark-field imaging. The compositional profiles of antimony across the superlattices were fitted to a segregation model and revealed a strong antimony segregation probability.

The CdTe/MgxCd1-xTe double-heterostructures were grown with Cd overflux in a dual-chamber molecular beam epitaxy with an ultra-high vacuum transfer loadlock. Diffraction-contrast images showed that the growth temperature had a strong impact on the structural quality of the epilayers. Very abrupt CdTe/InSb interfaces were obtained for epilayers grown at the optimum temperature of 265 °C, and high-resolution imaging using AC-STEM revealed an interfacial transition region with a width of a few monolayers and smaller lattice spacing than either CdTe or InSb.

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Date Created
2017