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The promise of nitrogen plasma implanted gallium arsenide for band gap engineering



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This investigation examines band gap engineering of the GaAsN alloy by means of plasma ion implantation. The strong redshift of the alloy's band gap is suitable for telecommunication applications and thus stimulated much interest in recent years. Nitrogen (N) ion implantation into gallium arsenide (GaAs) results in a thin shallow N-rich layer below the surface. However, the violent implantation process also modifies the concentrations of gallium and arsenide. The core of this thesis is a novel method for prediction of the band gap from the conditions in the processing plasma.The first important variable, the number of implanted ions, is obtained from the Lieberman model for the current during high-voltage Plasma Ion Implantation (PII). A review of the model's assumptions is provided as well as a comprehensive discussion of the implantation which includes error boundaries. The predicted and measured ion currents agree within error boundaries. The number of implanted ions can therefore be obtained from the prediction.The distribution of the implanted ions was subsequently explored by simulations such as TRIM and TRIDYN. It was found that the nitrogen content in GaAs is limited by the sputtering of the surface atoms. Furthermore, the content of gallium increases near the surface while the content of arsenic decreases. The predicted ratios of the constituents in the implanted layer is such that the alloy cannot form by ion implantation alone; it could be reconciled by annealing.Preliminary samples were produced and tested for the formation of the GaAsN alloy by Raman spectroscopy. No evidence for bonds between N and either Ga or As was found in the as-implanted samples. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the necessary steps to synthesize the GaAsN alloy.



Raman Spectroscopy, Ion Depth Profiles, Band Gap Engineering, Gallium Arsenide, GaAsN, Plasma Processing, Plasma Sheath Modelling, Plasma Ion Implantation



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Physics and Engineering Physics


Physics and Engineering Physics


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