Electron microscopy of GaAs-based structures with InAs and As quantum dots separated by an AlAs barrier
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Electron microscopy studies of GaAs-based structures grown by molecular beam epitaxy and containing arrays of semiconductor InAs quantum dots and metal As quantum dots are performed. The array of InAs quantum dots is formed by the Stranski-Krastanov mechanism and consists of vertically coupled pairs of quantum dots separated by a GaAs spacer 10 nm thick. To separate the arrays of semiconductor and metal quantum dots and to prevent diffusion-induced mixing, the array of InAs quantum dots is overgrown with an AlAs barrier layer 5 or 10 nm thick, after which a GaAs layer is grown at a comparatively low temperature (180°C). The array of As quantum dots is formed in an As-enriched layer of the low-temperature GaAs by means of post-growth annealing at 400–760°C for 15 min. It is established that the AlAs barrier layer has a surface profile corresponding to that of a subbarrier layer with InAs quantum dots. The presence of such a profile causes the formation of V-shaped structural defects upon subsequent overgrowth with the GaAs layer. Besides, it was obtained that AlAs layer is thinned over the InAs quantum dots tops. It is shown that the AlAs barrier layer in the regions between the InAs quantum dots effectively prevents the starting diffusion of excess As at annealing temperatures up to 600°C. However, the concentration of mechanical stresses and the reduced thickness of the AlAs barrier layer near the tops of the InAs quantum dots lead to local barrier breakthroughs and the diffusion of As quantum dots into the region of coupled pairs of InAs quantum dots at higher annealing temperatures.
KeywordsGaAs GaAs Layer Reflection High Energy Electron Diffraction Point Reflection Reflection High Energy Electron Diffraction Pattern
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