Nanoscale quantification of stress and strain in III-V semiconducting nanostructures
Author(s)Jones, Eric James, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
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III-V semiconducting nanostructures present a promising platform for the realization of advanced optoelectronic devices due to their superior intrinsic materials properties including direct band gap energies that span the visible light spectrum and high carrier mobilities. Additionally, the inherently high surface-to-volume ratio of nanostructures allows for the efficient relaxation of stress enabling the realization of defect free heterostructures between highly mismatched materials. As a result, nanostructures are being investigated as a route towards the direct integration of III-V materials on silicon substrates and as platforms for the fabrication of novel heterostructures not achievable in a thin film geometry. Due to their small size, however, many of the methods used to calculate stress and strain in 2D bulk systems are no longer valid as free surface effects allow for relaxation creating more complicated stress and strain fields. These inhomogeneous strain fields could have significant impacts on both device fabrication and operation. Therefore, it will be vital to develop techniques that can accurately predict and measure the stress and strain in individual nanostructures. In this thesis, we demonstrate how the combination of advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and continuum modeling techniques can provide a quantitative understanding of the complex strain fields in nanostructures with high spatial resolutions. Using techniques such as convergent beam electron diffraction, nanobeam electron diffraction, and geometric phase analysis we quantify and map the strain fields in top-down fabricated InAlN/GaN high electron mobility transistor structures and GaAs/GaAsP core-shell nanowires grown by a particle-mediated vapor-liquid-solid mechanism. By comparing our experimental results to strain fields calculated by finite element analysis, we show that these techniques can provide quantitative strain information with spatial resolutions on the order of 1 nm. Our results highlight the importance of nanoscale characterization of strain in nanostructures and point to future opportunities for strain engineering to precisely tune the behavior and operation of these highly relevant structures.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 2015.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 142-149).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.