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The precipitation kinetics of an ordered intermetallic from a disordered matrix, which involves simultaneous ordering and decomposition, is studied by a computer simulation technique based on the microscopic diffusion theory. It is found that the precipitation starts from a congruent ordering transition, which may be continuous or nucleation and growth. This congruent ordering transition transforms the initially disordered state into a single phase nonstoichiometric ordered state with antiphase domains. The next stage is the decomposition which starts from the antiphase domain boundaries and then propagates into the ordered domains. And the final process is the coarsening of the order/disorder two-phase mixture. The predicted kinetics of precipitation is in excellent agreement with recent experimental observations in important alloy systems.
The recently developed techniques of pulsed laser atom probe microanalysis (PLAP) and position sensitive atom probe (POSAP) have been applied to the study of quantum well interfaces in samples that have also been well characterised by the more conventional techniques of TEM and STEM. These techniques have the potential for providing chemical information with a spatial resolution of better than 2nm, but the atom probe has the ability to independently resolve morphological and microchemical features of interfaces in three dimensions.
This paper presents results taken from GaInAs/lnP MOCVD-grown samples, comparing information on well composition, and on the chemical abruptness and morphological roughness of interfaces using complementary analysis techniques. We have concentrated on obtaining reliable quantitative data on the phosphorous content of the GaInAs wells and on the gallium and arsenic contents of the InP barrier layers.
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