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Title: Interdiffusion of semiconductor alloy heterostructures
Author: Wee, Siew Fong
ISNI:       0000 0001 3565 2488
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis is concerned with a quantitative study of intermixing in GaAs/AlGaAs and ZnSe/ZnCdSe single quantum well semiconductor structures. In this study, a method of iterative isothermal anneals and photoluminescence used to characterize this phenomenon has enabled the evolution of the diffusion coefficients for the interdiffusion process with anneal time to be followed. The blue-shift emissions arising from this method are predicted by a model based on Fick's law of diffusion. This model is developed in an attempt to relate the energy shift that is observed experimentally to the diffusion length. The mixing is modelled using an error function expression to solve the diffusion equation so as to describe the variation in well shape which is attributed to compositional disordering induced during thermal processing. Using this approach, where evidence of intermixing was monitored, the emission would be expected to shift measurably. Data has been taken to cover a wide temperature range to establish values for the activation energy EA. From this data, it has been found that the diffusion coefficients at various temperatures are thermally activated with an energy of 3.6 +/- 0.2 eV in GaAs/AlGaAs. The data is compared with the available literature data taken under a wide range of experimental conditions. We show that despite the range of activation energies quoted in the literature all the data appears to be consistent with a single activation energy. Departures from the 'mean' value are ascribed to experimental uncertainties in determining the diffusion coefficients for example, to fluctuations in the composition of the material, to techniques used, or to a wide range of perturbations. Photoluminescence observations on ZnSe/ZnCdSe show that an improvement in the optical quality of these quantum well structures was found for anneals at temperatures (~500°C). A value of EA = 2.9 +/- 0.3 eV was derived from the experiments for the interdiffusion process over a 250 K temperature range and four decades of interdiffusion coefficient. The interdiffusion process of both these systems was inferred to be Fickian with no dependence on alloy composition or strain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Quantum well semiconductor structures