Atomic-Resolution EDX, HAADF, and EELS Study of GaAs1-xBix Alloys

PAULAUSKAS, Tadas – PACEBUTAS, Vaidas – BUTKUTE, Renata – ČECHAVIČIUS, Bronislovas – NAUJOKAITIS, Arnas – KAMARAUSKAS, Mindaugas – SKAPAS, Martynas – DEVENSON, Jan – ČAPLOVIČOVÁ, Mária – VRETENÁR, Viliam – LIU, Xiaoyan – KOCIAK, Mathieu – KROTKUS, Arunas

In Nanoscale Research Letters. Vol. 15, iss. 1 (2020)


The distribution of alloyed atoms in semiconductors often deviates from a random distribution which can have significant effects on the properties of the materials. In this study, scanning transmission electron microscopy techniques are employed to analyze the distribution of Bi in several distinctly MBE grown GaAs1−xBix alloys. Statistical quantification of atomic-resolution HAADF images, as well as numerical simulations, are employed to interpret the contrast from Bi-containing columns at atomically abrupt (001) GaAs-GaAsBi interface and the onset of CuPt-type ordering. Using monochromated EELS mapping, bulk plasmon energy red-shifts are examined in a sample exhibiting phase-separated domains. This suggests a simple method to investigate local GaAsBi unit-cell volume expansions and to complement standard X-ray-based lattice-strain measurements. Also, a single-variant CuPt-ordered GaAsBi sample grown on an offcut substrate is characterized with atomic scale compositional EDX mappings, and the order parameter is estimated. Finally, a GaAsBi alloy with a vertical Bi composition modulation is synthesized using a low substrate rotation rate. Atomically, resolved EDX and HAADF imaging shows that the usual CuPt-type ordering is further modulated along the [001] growth axis with a period of three lattice constants. These distinct GaAsBi samples exemplify the variety of Bi distributions that can be achieved in this alloy, shedding light on the incorporation mechanisms of Bi atoms and ways to further develop Bi-containing III-V semiconductors.