Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) is a technique capable of probing local structure in condensed- matter systems, determining distances, coordination numbers, and species of atoms near an x-ray excited atom. Further, this information is obtained separately for each constituent atomic species. EXAFS can be applied equally well to crystals, alloys, or even systems having no long-range order such as liquids, gases, and amorphous materials.
Here we review EXAFS spectroscopy and its use in studying semiconductors. First, we show EXAFS in the study of impurities to determine the local environment of Fe implanted in Si. Second, we show how EXAFS can be used to determine local structural distortion in diluted magnetic semiconductors. We next demonstrate that EXAFS can determine the nature of the phase transition in ferroelectric Pb1-x Gex Te, where the transition is revealed to have an order-disorder character in contrast to GeTe where the transition is purely displacive. The theme of these examples is that EXAFS can determine the relative positions of atoms in condensed matter and that the short-range order as determinedn by EXAFS often differs from the long-range order or theoretical expectations.
In the EXAFS technique, one measures the x-ray absorption coefficient as a function of x-ray energy. The absorption spectrum shows a number of x-ray edges corresponding to the threshold of excitation of core electrons from the sample's various atomic species. At energies above each of these edges, oscillations in the absorption coefficient are due to backscattering of the photoelectron from the neighboring atoms.