The bulk properties of solids are relatively well understood and a large number of experimental techniques have been developed to investigate and establish different aspects of these. Theoretical understanding of bulk solids is also at an advanced stage. The situation for interfaces between solids however, is in relative terms entirely different, and the experimental methods available to study interfaces are at a more primitive stage. Yet many of the properties of the semiconductor multilayer structures currently being produced are governed by the nature of interfaces between solids. To gain a full understanding of the behaviour of superlattices and multi-quantum well structures it is essential to develop suitable models to describe semiconductor interfaces. In this article, therefore, we will concentrate on some elementary aspects of the semiconductor-vacuum, semiconductor-metal, semiconductor-semiconductor, and semiconductor-insulator boundaries. These interfaces are not only of fundamental interest but are also of the utmost importance in solid state devices such as ultra-fast transistors and lasers. In the article we will deal with single interfaces, but the treatment may readily be extended to solids containing multiple interfaces.
KeywordsNickel Phosphorus Attenuation Fluoride GaAs
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