Raman-scattering and optical studies of argon-etched GaAs surfaces
Feng, G. F.
Epp, J. M.
Dillard, J. G.
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We have studied the structual damage in low-energy argon-ion-bombarded (ion-etched) GaAs using Raman scattering and ultraviolet reflectivity. When combined with post-bombardment sequential chemical etching, the Raman results reveal a graded depth profile of the damage layer, with a nearly linear damage dropoff with depth. The total damage-layer thickness is about 600 angstrom for high-fluence bombardment with 3.89-keV Ar+ ions. The spectral effects produced by argon etching are very different from those produced by high-energy ion implantation. The longitudinal-optic Raman line seen for argon-etched GaAs is not shifted and broadened as in ion-implanted GaAs. More striking are the results of the reflectivity measurements. For argon-etched GaAs, the electronic interband peaks are both broadened and strongly red shifted relative to the crystal peaks; for ion-implanted GaAs, only the broadening occurs. Distinct nanocrystals, which account for the effects seen in ion-implanted GaAs, are evidently absent in argon-etched GaAs. Instead, the damage layer caused by argon etching appears to be characterized by a very high density of point defects, which previous work suggests may be arsenic vacancies.