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Thin films of many other materials have also been grown using MBE methods. Silicon technology has cheaper methods of growth and so Si layers are not very popular. However, possible devices made of Si-Ge alloys have been grown. The II-VI compounds, have also been grown. Magnetic materials, such as Co-Pt and Fe-Pt alloys, have been grown in the hopes of providing better magnetic storage.

Analysis techniques

The most popular in-situ analysis technique for MBE-grown layers is reflection high energy diffraction (RHEED), see [link] . Electrons of energy 5 - 40 keV are directed towards the sample. They reflect from the surface at a very small angle (less than 3°) and are directed onto a screen. These electrons interact with only the top few atomic layers and thus provide information about the surface. [link] shows a typical pattern on the screen for electrons reflected from a smooth surface, in which constructive interference between some of the electrons reflected from the lattice structure results in lines. If the surface is rough, spots will appear on the screen, also. By looking at the total intensity of the reflected electron pattern, an idea of the number of monolayers deposited and how epilayers grow can be obtained. The island-type growth shown in this figure is an area of intense interest. These oscillations in intensity are gradually damped as more layers are grown, because the overall roughness of the surface increases.

Schematic illustrating the formation of a RHEED pattern.
RHEED diffraction pattern of a GaAs surface. Adapted from images by the MBE Laboratory in the Institute of Physics of the ASCR (http://www.fzu.cz/departments/surfaces/mbe/index.html).

Phase locked epitaxy takes advantage of the patterns of the oscillations to grow very abrupt layers. By sending the oscillation information to a computer, it can decide when to open or close the shutters of the effusion cell based on the location in the oscillation cycle. This technique self-adjusts for fluctuations in beam flux when the shutters are opened and can grow very abrupt layers.

Another analysis technique that can be used to study surface smoothness during growth is ellipsometry. Polarized laser light is reflected from the surface at a small angle. The polarization of the light changes, depending on the roughness of the surface.

Improved growth characteristics also require that the actual flux from the sources is measured. This is typically done with an ion gauge flux monitor, which is either used to measure residual beam that misses the substrate or is moved into the beam path for calibration when a new source is used. Because of the importance of clean substrate surfaces for low-defect growth, Auger spectroscopy is used following cleaning by sputtering. Auger spectroscopy takes place by ionizing an inner shell electron from an atom. When an outer shell electron then deexcites to the inner shell, the energy released can prompt the emission of another outer shell electron. The energy at which this occurs is characteristic of the atom involved and the signal can be used to detect impurities as small as 0.1%.


  • K. J. Bachmann, The Materials Science of Microelectronics , VCH (1995).
  • S. K. Ghandhi, VLSI Fabrication Principles: Silicon and Gallium Arsenide , 2nd Edition, Wiley-Interscience, NY (1994).
  • M. A. Herman and H. Sitter, Molecular Beam Epitaxy: Fundamentals and Current Status , Springer-Verlag (1989).
  • Y. Horikoshi, M. Kawashima, and H. Yamaguchi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. , 1986, 25 , L868.
  • J. H. McFee, B. I. Miller, and K. J. Bachmann, J. Electrochem. Soc. , 1977, 124 , 259.
  • T. Sakamoto, H. Funabashi, K. Ohta, T. Nakagawa, N. J. Kawai, and T. Kojima, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. , 1984, 23 , L657.
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Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry of electronic materials. OpenStax CNX. Aug 09, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10719/1.9
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