InAs single layers were grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy on nominally (001) oriented GaAs substrates at growth temperatures ranging from 350 °C to 500 °C and thicknesses between 1 nm and 6 μm. A systematic study of the influence of growth temperature and thickness on crystal defects and surface morphology is discussed by comparing High Resolution X-Ray Diffraction, Transmission Electron Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy investigations.
Surface hexagonal shaped holes were observed to develop at the lowest temperatures starting from an heterolayer thickness of 50 nm. Both misfit and threading dislocations were revealed; moreover the correlation between hexagonal shaped surface holes and mixed dislocations, with the component of the Burgers vector (b) along the growth axis larger than the minimum interatomic distance, is discussed. The holes increase in size and decrease in density by increasing the layer thickness. An almost complete surface planarization is observed at a thickness of 6 μm by increasing the growth temperature up to 500 °C.