The growth of erbium doped GaAs by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) can, depending on growth conditions, result in the precipitation of small spherical particles of erbium arsenide. It has been observed that by reducing the V:III (As:Ga) flux ratio to close to stoichiometry wirelike precipitates roughly aligned in the direction of growth are produced. The concentration of erbium incorporated into the GaAs lattice for a constant erbium flux is also affected by the As:Ga flux ratio with an increase in erbium doping being observed with decreasing As:Ga flux ratio.
Electrical measurements have been performed on erbium doped GaAs samples co-doped with selenium, an n-type dopant. Measurements have revealed that when erbium is present, the electron concentration is reduced by an amount approximately equal to 70% of the erbium concentration. DLTS measurements have shown that although large concentrations of deep levels are present in erbium doped material, the measured concentration of these deep levels is not high enough to account for the observed reduction in electron concentration with erbium doping.