Monte Carlo simulations of phase separation during growth of semiconductor alloys

R. Kaspi, S. A. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Monte Carlo simulations have been used to study the vapor phase growth of semiconductor alloys characterized by solid-phase miscibility gaps. Alloy phase separation occurred by a surface spinodal decomposition mechanism resulting in composition modulations in the plane of the film with a period of 2 to 5 nm. Decomposition was observed mainly within the spinodal region, but composition fluctuations persisted outside the spinodal. The amplitude of the composition modulations increased with increasing alloy interaction parameter but was kinetically limited over most of the parameter space investigated. This was indicated by the increased decomposition observed upon increasing the growth temperature T or decreasing the growth rate R. A strong dependence of decomposition on the surface reconstruction of the growing alloy films was also observed. In particular, stable surface dimers acted as traps for diffusing surface atoms, reducing the diffusion length and strongly limiting decomposition. Methods for minimizing decomposition are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1366-1371
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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