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Spontaneous formation of nanostructures by surface spinodal decomposition in GaAs1-xBix epilayers

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number185302
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume117
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

We report on the spontaneous formation of lateral composition modulations (LCMs) in Ga(As, Bi) epilayers grown by low-temperature (<300 degrees C) molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on GaAs(001). Both cross-section and plan-view transmission electron microscopy techniques are used to investigate the nature of the LCMs, consisting of Bi-rich cylinder-like nanostructures lying along the [001] growth direction. The observed LCMs are the consequence of a two-dimensional phase separation process occurring at the surface of the growing epilayers, and their columnar nature is consistent with a surface-directed spinodal decomposition process. Although LCMs are thermodynamically driven, we show how they can be kinetically controlled, in particular, through the As/Ga flux ratio and the substrate temperature. This is a result of LCMs developing from surface atomic diffusion processes, since the atomic dimer configurations on the surface alter adatom diffusivity. The significant role of the surface reconstructions is also discussed. (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

Keywords

  • PHASE-SEPARATION, SEMICONDUCTOR ALLOYS, GROWTH, IN1-XGAXASYP1-Y, DIFFUSION, EPITAXY, GAAS

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland