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Development of Cross-Hatch Morphology During Growth of Lattice Mismatched Layers

  • A. Maxwell Andrews (a1), J.S. Speck (a1), A.E. Romanov (a2), M. Bobeth (a3) and W. Pompe (a3)...


An approach is developed for understanding the cross-hatch morphology in lattice mismatched heteroepitaxial film growth. It is demonstrated that both strain relaxation associated with misfit dislocation formation and subsequent step elimination (e.g. by step-flow growth) are responsible for the appearance of nanoscopic surface height undulations (0.1-10 nm) on a mesoscopic (∼100 nm) lateral scale. The results of Monte Carlo simulations for dislocation- assisted strain relaxation and subsequent film growth predict the development of cross-hatch patterns with a characteristic surface undulation magnitude ∼50 Å in an approximately 70% strain relaxed In0.25Ga0.75As layers. The model is supported by atomic force microscopy (AFM) observations of cross-hatch morphology in the same composition samples grown well beyond the critical thickness for misfit dislocation generation.



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