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This study examined the effect of ion irradiation and subsequent thermal annealing on GeSi/Si strained-layer heterostructures. Comparison between samples irradiated at 253°C with low energy (23 keV) and high energy (1.0 MeV) Si ions showed that damage within the alloy layer increases the strain whereas irradiation through the layer/substrate interface decreases the strain. Loop-like defects formed at the GeSi/Si interface during high energy irradiation and interacting segments of these defects were shown to have edge character with Burgers vector a/2<110>. These defects are believed responsible for the observed strain relief. Irradiation was also shown to affect strain relaxation kinetics and defect morphologies during subsequent thermal annealing. For example, after annealing to 900°C, un-irradiated material contained thermally-induced misfit dislocations, while ion-irradiated samples showed no such dislocations.
An experimental study of the microstructure during formation and evolution of MOCVD-grown In0.6Ga0.4As/GaAs quantum dots (QDs) was undertaken to provide a more thorough understanding of the underlying growth principles. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) was used to examine the evolution of the In0.6Ga0.4As/GaAs system in order to correlate photoluminescence (PL) spectra with structural data. In particular, we have examined the QD size evolution, capped and uncapped, and its possible contribution to the slight QD PL blueshift observed before QD saturation. TEM studies in the QD coalescence regime clarify the microstructural origins of the sharp decrease in QD PL due to large, incoherent islands observed in AFM and TEM images.
Extended abstract of a paper presented at the Pre-Meeting Congress: Materials Research in an Aberration-Free Environment, at Microscopy and Microanalysis 2004 in Savannah, Georgia, USA, July 31 and August 1, 2004.