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Chin. Phys. B, 2012, Vol. 21(4): 048101    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/21/4/048101

Step instability of the In0.2Ga0.8As (001) surface during annealing

Zhang Bi-Chan(张毕禅), Zhou Xun(周勋), Luo Zi-Jiang(罗子江) Guo Xiang(郭祥), and Ding Zhao(丁召)
Low-Dimensional Semiconductor Structure Laboratory, College of Science, rm Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
Abstract  Anisotropic evolution of the step edges on the compressive-strained In0.2Ga0.8As/GaAs(001) surface has been investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The experiments suggest that step edges are indeed sinuous and protrude somewhere a little way along the [110] direction, which is different from the classical waviness predicted by the theoretical model. We consider that the monatomic step edges undergo a morphological instability induced by the anisotropic diffusion of adatoms on the terrace during annealing, and we improve a kinetic model of step edge based on the classical Burton-Cabrera-Frank (BCF) model in order to determine the normal velocity of step enlargement. The results show that the normal velocity is proportional to the arc length of the peninsula, which is consistent with the first result of our kinetic model. Additionally, a significant phenomenon is an excess elongation along the [1$\bar{1}$0] direction at the top of the peninsula with a higher aspect ratio, which is attributed to the restriction of diffusion lengths.
Keywords:  InGaAs      step instability      surface diffusion      kinetic model  
Received:  08 September 2011      Revised:  08 November 2011      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  81.05.Ea (III-V semiconductors)  
  68.55.J- (Morphology of films)  
  68.35.Fx (Diffusion; interface formation)  
  81.15.Aa (Theory and models of film growth)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 60866001), the Special Project for Senior Researcher of Guizhou Organization Department (Grnat No. TZJF 2006.10), Doctor Foundation of Guizhou University, the Innovation Fund of Guizhou University (Grant No. 2011008), the Science and Technological Project for Scholar Abroad, Guizhou Province (Grant No. [2007]03), and the Guizhou Science and Technology Foundation (Grant No. J[2007]2176).
Corresponding Authors:  Ding Zhao,     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Zhang Bi-Chan(张毕禅), Zhou Xun(周勋), Luo Zi-Jiang(罗子江) , Guo Xiang(郭祥), and Ding Zhao(丁召) Step instability of the In0.2Ga0.8As (001) surface during annealing 2012 Chin. Phys. B 21 048101

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