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The gas sources have several advantages. Gas lines can be run into the chamber, which allows the supply to be replenished without opening the chamber. When making alloys, such as Al x Ga 1-x As, the gases can be premixed for the correct stochiometry or even have their composition gradually changed for making graded structures. For abrupt structures, it is necessary to be able to switch the gas lines with speeds of 1 second or less. However, the gas lines increase the complexity of the process and can be hard on the pumping system.

Substrate choice and preparation

Materials can be grown on substrates of different structure, orientation, and chemistry. In deciding which materials can be grown on a particular substrate, a primary consideration was expected to be lattice mismatch, i.e., differences in spacing between atoms. However, while lattice mismatch can cause strain in the grown layer, considerable accommodation between materials of different sizes can take place during growth. A greater source of strain can be differences in thermal expansion characteristics because the layer is grown at high temperature. On cooling to room temperature, dislocation defects can be formed at the interface or in severe cases, the device may break. Chemical considerations, such as whether the layer's elements will dissolve in the substrate or form compounds with the substrate, must also be considered.

Different orientations of the substrate can also affect growth. Close-packed planes have the lowest surface energy, which allows atoms to desorb from the surface, resulting in slower growth rates. Growth is favored where bonds can be made in several directions at the same time. Therefore, the substrate is often cut off-axis by a 2 - 4° to provide a rougher growth surface. For compound semiconductors, some orientations result in the number of loose bonds changing between layers. This results in changes of surface energy with each layer, which slows growth down.

The greatest cause of defects in the epitaxial layer is defects on the substrate's surface. In general, any dislocations on the substrate are replicated or even multiplied in the epitaxial growth, which is what makes the cleaning of the substrate so important.

Materials grown

MBE is commercially used primarily for GaAs devices. This is partly because the high speed microwave devices made from GaAs required the superior electrical quality of epitaxial layers. Taking place at lower temperature and under better controlled conditions, MBE generally results in layers of better quality than melt-grown.

From solid Ga and As sources, elemental Ga and tetrameric As 4 are evaporated. For a GaAs substrate, the Ga flux has a sticking coefficient very close to 1 (almost certain to adsorb). The As is much less likely to adsorb, so an excess is usually supplied. Cracker cells are often used on the As 4 in order to obtain As 2 instead, which results in faster growth and more efficient utilization of the source beam.

For nominally undoped GaAs grown by MBE, the residual impurities are usually carbon, from substrate contamination and residual gas after the growth chamber is pumped down, and sulphur, from the As source. The most common surface defects are "oval" defects, which seem to form when Ga manages to form metallic droplets during the growth process, which can particularly occur if the substrate was not cleaned properly. These defects can also be reduced by carefully controlling the Ga flux.

Questions & Answers

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
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
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
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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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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