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Kinetic modeling of microscopic processes during electron cyclotron resonance microwave plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxial growth of GaN/GaAs-based heterostructures

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Microscopic growth processes associated with GaN/GaAs molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) are examined through the introduction of a first-order kinetic model. The model is applied to the electron cyclotron resonance microwave plasma-assisted MBE (ECR-MBE) growth of a set of delta-GaNyAs1–y/GaAs strained-layer superlattices that consist of nitrided GaAs monolayers separated by GaAs spacers, and that exhibit a strong decrease of y with increasing T over the range 540–580 °C. This y(T) dependence is quantitatively explained in terms of microscopic anion exchange, and thermally activated N surface-desorption and surface-segregation processes. N surface segregation is found to be significant during GaAs overgrowth of GaNyAs1–y layers at typical GaN ECR-MBE growth temperatures, with an estimated activation energy Es ~ 0.9 eV. The observed y(T) dependence is shown to result from a combination of N surface segregation/desorption processes.

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