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Polarity-induced changes in the nanoindentation response of GaAs

  • E. Le Bourhis (a1), G. Patriarche (a2), L. Largeau (a2) and J.P. Rivière (a3)


We studied the polarity-induced changes in the nanoindentation response of GaAs{111}. The nanoindentations were made under a large range of loads (Fmax between 0.2 mN and 50 mN) at room temperature on {111} faces of A (Ga) or B (As) character. The loading–unloading curves were compared first, with special attention addressed to pop-in events and hardness values (reported previously for microindentation). Transmission electron microscopy was used to observe the nanoindentation structures generated at the two polar surfaces. The size of the dense plastic zone generated around the indent site was found to increase linearly with √Fmax and similarly for both polar surfaces. The indentation rosettes possess a threefold symmetry with arms developed along the <110> directions parallel to the surface. Sizes were found to be very close for both polar surfaces and the entire load range. For an A-polar face, the rosette arms are constituted by two arms: a long arm (LA, α dislocations) and a short arm (β dislocations). At the B surface, only the LA (β dislocations) are formed. Furthermore, microtwinning was observed only for an A-polar face, similar to previous observations of anisotropic microtwinning at GaAs(001) surfaces.


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