Published in Appl. Phys. Lett. 69, 3698 (1996).

Atomic-scale structure and electronic properties of GaN/GaAs superlattices

R.S. Goldman R.M. Feenstra
Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
B. G. Briner
IBM Research Division, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598
M.L. O'Steen and R.J. Hauenstein
Department of Physics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Oklahoma


We have investigated the atomic-scale structure and electronic properties of GaN/GaAs superlattices produced by nitridation of a molecular beam epitaxially grown GaAs surface. Using cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy, we show that the nitrided layers are laterally inhomogeneous, consisting of groups of atomic-scale defects and larger clusters. Analysis of x-ray diffraction data in terms of fractional area of clusters (determined by STM), reveals a cluster lattice constant similar to bulk GaN. In addition, tunneling spectroscopy on the defects indicates a conduction band state associated with an acceptor level of NAs in GaAs. Therefore, we identify the clusters and defects as GaN and NAs, respectively. Together, the results reveal phase segregation in these arsenide/nitride structures, in agreement with the large miscibility gap predicted for GaAsN.

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