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Electrochemical behaviour of gallium arsenide Liu, Gordon Gang


Polarization behaviours of copper diffused p-type GaAs was studied in 1. 0M NaCl and 1. 0M NaNO₃ by means of pitting scan and linear sweep potentiodynamic polarization techniques. The thermodynamic potential-pH diagram of the GaAs-H₂O system was constructed. The observed electrode behaviours of GaAs were compared and correlated to the potential-pH diagram. Freely corroding potential, passivation behaviour and pitting potential were examined as a function of a number of factors. These included the effects of different annealing and polishing pretreatments, the bulk solution pH and polarization methods. The corrosion potential (Ecorr) , pitting potential (Epit) and passivation behaviour were affected by the different pretreatments which changed the surface condition of GaAs. For mechanically polished samples, pitting corrosion was found in pH 7.0 solution only. The Ecorr and Eplt were independent of NO₃⁻ and Cl⁻ at pH 7.0. Initial polarization behaviour of p-GaAs at pH 2.0 and 12.0 followed the Tafel Law for semiconductors quite well. There was a reasonable correlation between the experimental observations and the potential-pH diagram of GaAs-H₂O system. SEM images of polarized samples showed that pits formed in NaCl and NaNO₃ had a different shape, being more elongated in NaCl. However, the walls of all pits appeared to be composed of {111} planes. In general, the pit distribution appeared to be similar to the dislocation distribution. A model of pitting corrosion of GaAs was proposed based on strain induced breakdown of the oxide film, localized changes in solution chemistry and the structure of the compound semiconductor.

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