Semiconductor materials became a part of nowadays life due to useful applications caused by characteristic properties as variable conductivity and sensitivity to light or heat. Electrical properties of a semiconductor can be modified by doping or by the application of electric fields or light; and from this view, devices made from semiconductors can be used for amplification or energy conversion. The compound semiconductor materials from III-V class experienced a qualitative leap from promising potential to nowadays technologic environment. The III-V semiconductor compounds are the material bases for electronic and optoelectronic devices such as high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMT), bipolar heterostructure transistors, IR light-emitting diodes, heterostructure lasers, Gunn diodes, Schottky devices, photodetectors, and heterostructure solar cells for terrestrial and spatial operating conditions. Among III-V semiconductor compounds, gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium antimonide (GaSb) are of special interest as a substrate material due to the lattice parameter match to solid solutions (ternary and quaternary) whose band gaps cover a wide spectral range from 0.8 to 4.3 μm in the case of GaSb. The solid/solid interfaces could play a key part in the development of microelectronic device technology. In most of the cases, the initial surface of III-V compounds exposed to laboratory conditions is covered usually with native oxide layers. Various techniques for performing the surface cleaning process are used, e.g., controlled chemical etching, in situ ion sputtering, coupled with controlled annealing in vacuum and often these classic techniques are combined in order to prepare an eligible semiconductor surface to be exposed to a technological device chain. The evolution of surface native oxides in different cleaning procedures and the characteristics of as-prepared semiconductor surface were investigated by modern surface investigation techniques, i.e., X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) combined with electrical characterization. Surface preparation of semiconductors in particular for III-V compounds is a necessary requirement in device technology due to the existence of surface impurities and the presence of native oxides. The impurities can affect the adherence of ohmic and Schottky contacts and due to thermal decomposition of native oxides (e.g., GaSb) it also affect the interface metal/semiconductor. The practical experience reveals that the simple preparation of a surface is a nonrealistic expectation, i.e., surface preparation is a result of combined treatments, namely chemical etching and thermal treatment, ion beam sputtering and thermal reconstruction procedure.
Part of the book: Nanoscaled Films and Layers
In the context of miniaturization of devices, ferroelectric materials are used as multifunctional materials for their well-known intrinsic properties, especially for the switching of polarization in an applied electric field. The high-quality epitaxial thin film structures are used for the possibility to study different effects as low dimensions, interface, strain and strain gradients on ferroelectric materials and other electric characteristics, also representing a possibility to obtain new phenomena and properties that can be used for development of new devices with different functionalities. This chapter is a summary of the ferroelectric and dielectric behaviour of epitaxial thin films of Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) and BaTiO3 (BTO) obtained by pulsed laser deposition and the correlation with structural quality of the layers and with different electrostatic conditions induced either by electrodes or by the different interlayers. For this purpose in the first part, studies regarding the influence of the substrates and of different top electrodes are performed for Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) 52/48. In the second part, we focused on artificial multiferroic structures from alternating layers of PZT 20/80 or BaTiO3 (BTO) as ferroelectric phase and CoFe2O4 (CFO) as magnetic material. We found that interface configuration and strain engineering could control ferroelectric hysteresis, the capacitance or the leakage current magnitude.
Part of the book: Epitaxy