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The dilute GaNxAs1-x alloys (with x up to 0.05) have exhibited many unusual properties as compared to the conventional binary and ternary semiconductor alloys. We report on a new effect in the GaNxAs1-x alloy system in which electrically active substitutional group IV donors and isoelectronic N atoms passivate each other's activity. This mutual passivation occurs in dilute GaNxAs1-x doped with group IV donors through the formation of nearest neighbor IVGa- NAs pairs when the samples are annealed under conditions such that the diffusion length of the donors is greater than or equal to the average distance between donor and N atoms. The passivation of the shallow donors and the NAs atoms is manifested in a drastic reduction in the free electron concentration and, simultaneously, an increase in the fundamental bandgap. This mutual passivation effect is demonstrated in both Si and Ge doped GaNxAs1-x alloys. Analytical calculations of the passivation process based on Ga vacancy mediated diffusion show good agreement with the experimental results.
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