Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 February 2011
The growth of erbium doped gallium arsenide by MBE at normal substrate temperatures (∼580°C) is constrained by a solubility limit of 8×1017 cm−3. This is much less than is desirable for optical emitters using the forbidden 4f transitions of Er3+ to produce radiation at 1.54μm. We have developed an MBE technique where it is possible to produce spherical mesoscopic precipitates containing erbium as a matrix element within the gallium arsenide. Structural and analytical studies indicate that the precipitate is cubic (rock salt) erbium arsenide. The physical size of the precipitates is self limiting as a result of surface migration occurring during MBE growth. By adjusting the growth conditions it is possible to produce an array of uniform erbium arsenide quantum dots of a size chosen from the range 10-20Å. The dot density can be varied by changing the erbium flux.
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