Above-bandgap photo-irradiation is known to improve the low temperature growth of II-VI semiconductors, but the trade-offs in the substrate temperature and light source power density are not well known. We investigated these effects on the growth of ZnSe epilayers on GaAs. We find that the above-bandgap photo-irradiation can improve the ZnSe epilayer without substantially negatively impacting the underlying GaAs epilayer only if the laser energy is below a threshold intensity. When the threshold is exceeded, the growth rate drops, the optical properties of ZnSe layer deteriorate and interface intermixing is enhanced. Together, cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy and photoluminescence results suggest that photo-irradiation at moderate to high laser energies produces a trade-off in interface intermixing and planar defect formation. Most importantly, the damage produced by high laser energies does not start at the interface but instead in the bulk. Further flexibility for selecting the temperature and photo-irradiation intensities could be realized by turning on the laser irradiation after the ZnSe growth has been initiated, limiting the potential intermixing at the interface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films