Dislocation Reduction of HgCdTe/Si Through Ex Situ Annealing
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- Brill, G., Farrell, S., Chen, Y.P. et al. Journal of Elec Materi (2010) 39: 967. doi:10.1007/s11664-010-1142-3
Current growth methods of HgCdTe/Cd(Se)Te/Si by molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) result in a dislocation density of mid 106 cm−2 to low 107 cm−2. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, it is well accepted that this high level of dislocation density leads to poorer long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) focal-plane array (FPA) performance, especially in terms of operability. We have conducted a detailed study of ex situ cycle annealing of HgCdTe/Cd(Se)Te/Si material in order to reduce the total number of dislocations present in as-grown material. We have successfully and consistently shown a reduction of one half to one full order of magnitude in the number of dislocations as counted by etch pit density (EPD) methods. Additionally, we have observed a corresponding decrease in x-ray full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) of ex situ annealed HgCdTe/Si layers. Among all parameters studied, the total number of annealing cycles seems to have the greatest impact on dislocation reduction. Currently, we have obtained numerous HgCdTe/Si layers which have EPD values measuring ~1 × 106 cm−2 after completion of thermal cycle annealing. Preliminary Hall measurements indicate that electrical characteristics of the material can be maintained.