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Chin. Phys. B, 2023, Vol. 32(3): 037801    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ac70b5

Atomic-scale insights of indium segregation and its suppression by GaAs insertion layer in InGaAs/AlGaAs multiple quantum wells

Shu-Fang Ma(马淑芳)1,†, Lei Li(李磊)1,2, Qing-Bo Kong(孔庆波)1,2, Yang Xu(徐阳)1,2, Qing-Ming Liu(刘青明)1,2, Shuai Zhang(张帅)1,2, Xi-Shu Zhang(张西数)1,2, Bin Han(韩斌)1, Bo-Cang Qiu(仇伯仓)1, Bing-She Xu(许并社)1,3,‡, and Xiao-Dong Hao(郝晓东)1,§
1 Materials Institute of Atomic and Molecular Science, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Xi'an 710021, China;
2 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Xi'an 710021, China;
3 Key Laboratory of Interface Science and Engineering in Advanced Materials, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
Abstract  The In segregation and its suppression in InGaAs/AlGaAs quantum well are investigated by using high-resolution x-ray diffraction (XRD) and photoluminescence (PL), combined with the state-of-the-art aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (Cs-STEM) techniques. To facility our study, we grow two multiple quantum wells (MQWs) samples, which are almost identical except that in sample B a thin GaAs layer is inserted in each of the InGaAs well and AlGaAs barrier layer comparing to pristine InGaAs/AlGaAs MQWs (sample A). Our study indeed shows the direct evidences that In segregation occurs in the InGaAs/AlGaAs interface, and the effect of the GaAs insertion layer on suppressing the segregation of In atoms is also demonstrated on the atomic-scale. Therefore, the atomic-scale insights are provided to understand the segregation behavior of In atoms and to unravel the underlying mechanism of the effect of GaAs insertion layer on the improvement of crystallinity, interface roughness, and further an enhanced optical performance of InGaAs/AlGaAs QWs.
Keywords:  InGaAs/AlGaAs quantum well      GaAs insertion layer      In segregation      scanning transmission electron microscopy  
Received:  02 March 2022      Revised:  09 May 2022      Accepted manuscript online:  18 May 2022
PACS:  78.20.-e (Optical properties of bulk materials and thin films)  
  07.79.-v (Scanning probe microscopes and components)  
  68.37.Ma (Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM))  
Fund: X. H. gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21902096) and the Scientific Research Foundation of Shaanxi University of Science and Technology (Grant No. 126061803). S. M. and B. X. thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21972103) and the Shanxi Provincial Key Innovative Research Team in Science and Technology (Grant No. 201703D111026).
Corresponding Authors:  Shu-Fang Ma, Bing-She Xu, Xiao-Dong Hao     E-mail:;;

Cite this article: 

Shu-Fang Ma(马淑芳), Lei Li(李磊), Qing-Bo Kong(孔庆波), Yang Xu(徐阳), Qing-Ming Liu(刘青明), Shuai Zhang(张帅), Xi-Shu Zhang(张西数), Bin Han(韩斌), Bo-Cang Qiu(仇伯仓), Bing-She Xu(许并社), and Xiao-Dong Hao(郝晓东) Atomic-scale insights of indium segregation and its suppression by GaAs insertion layer in InGaAs/AlGaAs multiple quantum wells 2023 Chin. Phys. B 32 037801

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