Structural and electronic properties of isovalent boron atoms in GaAs

C.M. Krammel, L. Nattermann, E. Sterzer, K. Volz, P.M. Koenraad

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Abstract

Boron containing GaAs, which is grown by metal organic vapour phase epitaxy, is studied at the atomic level by cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy (X-STM) and spectroscopy (STS). In topographic X-STM images, three classes of B related features are identified, which are attributed to individual B atoms on substitutional Ga sites down to the second layer below the natural {110} cleavage planes. The X-STM contrast of B atoms below the surface reflects primarily the structural modification of the GaAs matrix by the small B atoms. However, B atoms in the cleavage plane have in contrast to conventional isovalent impurities, such as Al and In, a strong influence on the local electronic structure similar to donors or acceptors. STS measurements show that B in the GaAs {110} surfaces gives rise to a localized state short below the conduction band (CB) edge while in bulk GaAs, the B impurity state is resonant with the CB. The analysis of BxGa1- xAs/GaAs quantum wells reveals a good crystal quality and shows that the incorporation of B atoms in GaAs can be controlled along the [001] growth direction at the atomic level. Surprisingly, the formation of the first and fourth nearest neighbor B pairs, which are oriented along the 110 directions, is strongly suppressed at a B concentration of 1% while the third nearest neighbor B pairs are found more than twice as often than expected for a completely spatially random pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161589
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume123
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2018

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