Characterization of atomic composition and spatially resolved dopant distribution in wide band gap semiconducting nanowires is critical for their applications in next-generation nanoelectronic and optoelectronic devices. We have applied laser-assisted atom probe tomography to measure the spatially resolved composition of wide band gap semiconducting undoped GaN nanowires and Mg-doped GaN nanowires. Stoichiometric evaporation of individual GaN nanowires was achieved, and optimal experimental conditions to characterize the concentration and spatial distribution of the dopant in the Mg:GaN nanowire samples were established. Extremely mild operating conditions, with laser pulse energy as low as 3 pJ, are required to avoid preferential loss of nitrogen and achieve stoichiometric evaporation. The role of nanowire morphology in the selection of optimal experimental conditions is discussed in the context of thermal transport within the nanowire under a heat load imposed by the pulsing laser. The results of this work are expected to help guide similar atom probe tomography studies of related wide band gap III-V semiconductor alloys, which will facilitate a better understanding of material response and will help develop structure-property relationships.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry