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.
“This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher.
To access the final edited and published work see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/am400270w