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The cleaning of InP substrates for growth by MBE

<p>A novel technique of using an in-situ ECR generated H-plasma to produce high quality surfaces on InP substrates, for growth of n- and p-type InP layers by GSMBE, has been investigated. The initial substrate surface quality determines the quality of the subsequently grown layers and therefore, the cleaning procedure is of critical importance. The standard approach entails a thermal desorption of a passivating oxide; however, this technique leaves carbon on the surface and, because oxides may vary in composition depending on the growth conditions, a consistent temperature for desorption may not be obtained. The desorption process is also dependent on the atmosphere in which it is carried out; i.e. whether an overpressure of P₂ or As₂ is used. Thermal desorption of oxides from InP requires the substrate to reach temperatures higher than normal GSMBE growth temperatures which can lead to substrate decomposition and, for regrowth applications, can alter dopant profiles and layer composition in ternary and quaternary layer growths. As an alternative, H-plasmas in separate vacuum chambers have been used to remove oxides from InP but this typically produces highly defective substrates due to a loss of phosphorus from the substrate. In this work the combination of an in-situ H-plasma with a stabilizing atmosphere of P₂ is used for the removal of oxides at temperatures equal to growth temperature and below.</p> <p>The mechanism involved in the thermal desorption of an oxide is first clarified and this procedure is compared with oxide removal by H-plasma etch in a phosphorus atmosphere. The ECR source can produce various plasma modes which have been thoroughly characterized. The effect of the different plasma conditions on clean lnP is determined. These modes have different properties which result in different oxide etch rates. Various modes are compared and the mechanism of oxide removal is documented. As an alternative to oxide growth S-passivation has recently received attention as a surface passivation technique. Application of this surface, with and without H-plasma cleaning, has been investigated. The above treatments and other wet chemical surface treatments are compared to determine the optimal surface cleaning technique.</p> <p>The results indicate that thermal desorptions are driven by reaction with phosphorus from the substrate and therefore require high temperatures to promote significant phosphorus evaporation from the substrate. A H-plasma etch of the oxide is driven by the presence of atomic H in the plasma and results in the formation of water. Oxide removal rates were determined at various temperatures from 250°C - 490°C. The plasma etch was found to remove carbon contamination from the surface whereas, thermal desorptions do not. Defect levels in the underlying lnP are sensitive to the plasma properties but with careful choice of plasma conditions defect states can be minimized. An optimal surface cleaning procedure has been developed which involves a UV-ozone treatment and H-plasma cleaning, resulting in interfaces free of electrically active defects in n-type material and a defect concentration of 8x10¹¹ cm⁻² in p-type material.</p> / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Date06 1900
CreatorsHofstra, Peter
ContributorsThompson, D.A., Condensation
Source SetsMcMaster University
Detected LanguageEnglish

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