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Determination of heteroepitaxial layer relaxation at growth temperature from room temperature X-ray reciprocal space maps

: Roesener, T.; Klinger, V.; Weuffen, C.; Lackner, D.; Dimroth, F.


Journal of Crystal Growth 368 (2013), pp.21-28
ISSN: 0022-0248
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Lattice-mismatched heteroepitaxial growth in compound semiconductor layer structures, e.g. metamorphic buffers, is frequently used to combine materials with favorable properties. A detailed understanding of the strain relaxation during growth is important to optimize the buffer layers and to achieve high material quality. We present a method to determine the epilayer relaxation at growth temperature from room temperature X-ray diffraction measurements. For this the lattice parameters are measured with (004) and (224) reciprocal space maps along two orthogonal < 110 > directions to account for anisotropic misfit strain relaxation. Dissimilar thermal expansion coefficients of substrate and epilayer are taken into consideration when calculating the lattice parameters and epilayer relaxation parameters at growth temperature. The application of this method is discussed for GaAsxP1-x metamorphic buffer structure on Si with eight lattice-mismatched layers showing a relaxation parameter of over 130% at room temperature. All layers were found to be nearly 100% relaxed at growth temperature. The use of this method for other compound semiconductors is discussed.