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Chemical studies of the passivation of GaAs surface recombination using sulfides and thiols

Lunt, Sharon R. and Ryba, Gail N. and Santangelo, Patrick G. and Lewis, Nathan S. (1991) Chemical studies of the passivation of GaAs surface recombination using sulfides and thiols. Journal of Applied Physics, 70 (12). pp. 7449-7467. ISSN 0021-8979. doi:10.1063/1.349741.

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Steady-state photoluminescence, time-resolved photoluminescence, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy have been used to study the electrical and chemical properties of GaAs surfaces exposed to inorganic and organic sulfur donors. Despite a wide variation in S2–(aq) concentration, variation of the pH of aqueous HS–solutions had a small effect on the steady-state n-type GaAs photoluminescence intensity, with surfaces exposed to pH=8, 0.1-M HS–(aq) solutions displaying comparable luminescence intensity relative to those treated with pH=14, 1.0-M Na2S·9H2O(aq). Organic thiols (R-SH, where R=–CH2CH2SH or –C6H4Cl) dissolved in nonaqueous solvents were found to effect increases in steady-state luminescence yields and in time-resolved luminescence decay lifetimes of (100)-oriented GaAs. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed that exposure of GaAs surfaces to these organic systems yielded thiols bound to the GaAs surface, but such exposure did not remove excess elemental As and did not form a detectable As2S3 overlayer on the GaAs. These results imply that complete removal of As0 or formation of monolayers of As2S3 is not necessary to effect a reduction in the recombination rate at etched GaAs surfaces. Other compounds that do not contain sulfur but that are strong Lewis bases, such as methoxide ion, also improved the GaAs steady-state photoluminescence intensity. These results demonstrate that a general class of electron-donating reagents can be used to reduce nonradiative recombination at GaAs surfaces, and also imply that prior models focusing on the formation of monolayer coverages of As2S3 and Ga2S3 are not adequate to describe the passivating behavior of this class of reagents. The time-resolved, high level injection experiments clearly demonstrate that a shift in the equilibrium surface Fermi-level energy is not sufficient to explain the luminescence intensity changes, and confirm that HS– and thiol-based reagents induce substantial reductions in the surface recombination velocity through a change in the GaAs surface state recombination rate.

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Lewis, Nathan S.0000-0001-5245-0538
Additional Information:© 1991 American Institute of Physics. (Received 3 April 1991; accepted 3 September 1991) We acknowledge the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, for funding the research. S.R.L. also thanks the Department of Education for a graduate fellowship. We wish to thank Dr. E.-H. Cirlin of Hughes Research Laboratories, and Dr. M. Hecht and Dr. R. Vasquez of Jet Propulsion Laboratories for the use of XPS equipment and for numerous helpful discussions. This paper is Contribution #8420 from the Caltech Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
Issue or Number:12
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ID Code:2419
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Deposited On:03 Apr 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:47

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