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Published September 15, 1992 | Published
Journal Article Open

Defect formation and diffusion mechanism in ion-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy


A simple moving boundary diffusion model has been used to characterize defect incorporation kinetics during ion-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy. The model permits analysis of the dependence of the final defect concentration on the growth rate, defect diffusivity, defect production range, and the shape of defect depth distribution. The results indicate a linear dependence of the final defect concentration on the ion-to-atom flux ratio which is in the growth-rate-limited regime of the model. Comparison between the model and the film strains measured by x-ray rocking curve analyses has been made and reveals that the thermal spike energy deposited by the bombarding ions during epitaxial growth has a significant effect on the apparent activation energy of the defect migration. A transition temperature above which the defect migration is thermally activated and below which the defect migration is cascade assisted can be defined. The experimentally observed temperature dependence of the defect concentration can be attributed to cascade-assisted diffusion of the defects. Comparison between the model and the multisite multiply activated migration model for low-energy dopant incorporation has also been made. The results show the similarity between the defect incorporation and dopant incorporation which gives a unified view of both processes.

Additional Information

© 1992 The American Physical Society. Received 25 November 1991. We would like to thank Dr. A. Mutz for valuable discussions. One of us (C.J.T.) also acknowledges the support of the IBM corporation. This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grant Nos. DMR-8958070 and DMR-8811795, and the A.T. & T. Foundation.

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