Scanning Microscopy


Low energy cathodoluminescence spectroscopy (CLS) employing incident electron energies in the range of a few kV or less enable measurement of electronic structure near semiconductor surfaces and interfaces. Coupled with photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL), the CLS technique has been extended to characterize electronic structure tens of nanometers below the free surface at metal-semiconductor and semiconductor-semiconductor junctions. CLS has revealed discrete, deep electronic states for clean and metallized semiconductor surfaces as a function of atomic ordering as well as vicinal surfaces as a function of misorientation. A combination of CLS and PL reveals deep level features associated with strain relaxation and dislocations at heterojunction interfaces as well as variations in epilayer growth conditions. Such observations demonstrate the existence of discrete, deep levels in the semiconductor band gap and their sensitivity to chemical and atomic structure near surfaces and interfaces. Furthermore, the energies and densities of such deep levels provide a consistent picture of Fermi level stabilization and band bending at semiconductor contacts. Finally, our results indicate that deep level CLS/PL measurements are an effective, in-situ probe of surface and interface quality.

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