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High-accuracy analysis of nanoscale semiconductor layers using beam-exit Ar-ion polishing and scanning probe microscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2013
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Journal number8
Volume5
Number of pages5
Pages3241-3245
Early online date25/03/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A novel method of sample cross-sectioning, beam-exit Ar-ion cross-sectional polishing, has been combined with scanning probe microscopy to study thin AlxGa1-xAs/GaAs layers. Additional contrast enhancement via a citric acid/hydrogen peroxide etch allows us to report the observation of layers as thin as 1 nm. Layer thickness measurements agree with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) data to 0.1 ± 0.2 nm, making this a very promising low-cost method for nanoscale analysis of semiconductor heterostructures.