Relaxation of strained InGaAs during molecular beam epitaxy

G. J. Whaley, P. I. Cohen

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Relaxation of strained InxGa1-xAs films grown on GaAs substrates has been measured in situ during molecular beam epitaxy growth by reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED). Growth is found to be layer by layer up to a strain-dependent ''critical'' thickness where three-dimensional clusters with {114} facets form. The onset of cluster growth is simultaneous with lattice relaxation as measured by RHEED. The relaxation during growth is compared with the Dodson-Tsao model for strained-layer relaxation [Appl. Phys. Lett. 53, 1325 (1987)]. Two distinct mechanisms for relaxation were found depending on film strain. An activation energy for relaxation was measured to be 4.4 eV for a film strain of 2.3%. The relaxation deviated from the Dodson-Tsao model for nongrowth conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-146
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990

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