Atomic scale study of Si-doped AlAs by cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory

D. Tjeertes (Corresponding author), A. Vela, T.J.F. Verstijnen, E.G. Banfi, P.J. van Veldhoven, M.G. Menezes, Universidade Federal do de Janeiro, B. Koiller, P.M. Koenraad

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Abstract

Silicon (Si) donors in GaAs have been the topic of extensive studies since Si is the most common and well understood n-type dopant in III-V semiconductor devices and substrates. The indirect bandgap of AlAs compared to the direct one of GaAs leads to interesting effects when introducing Si dopants. Here we present a study of cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy (X-STM) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations to study Si donors in AlAs at the atomic scale. Based on their crystal symmetry and contrast strengths, we identify Si donors up to four layers below the (110) surface of AlAs. Interestingly, their short-range local density of states (LDOS) is very similar to Si atoms in the (110) surface of GaAs. Additionally we show high-resolution images of Si donors in all these layers. For empty state imaging, the experimental and simulated STM images based on DFT show excellent agreement for Si donor up to two layers below the surface.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125433
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume104
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2021

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