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Studies of oxide desoption from GaAs by diffuse electron scattering and optical reflectivity Van Buuren, Anthony W.H.


We have determined that the temperature for desorption of gallium oxide from GaAs increases linearly with oxide thickness, for oxide layers between about 6Å and 26Å thick. The temperature for the oxide desorption ranged from 580°C to 630°C. The wafer temperature was determined from the optical band-gap measured from the diffuse reflectivity of the sample, which was polished on the front surface and textured on the back surface. Different thicknesses of oxide layers were created by varying the exposure time of the GaAs wafers to a low pressure oxygen plasma. The oxide thicknesses were determined by XPS analysis. Desorption experiments were carried out in a VG V80H MBE system under a As4 beam equivalent pressure of 1.5 x 10⁻⁵ ton. Measurement of diffuse light scattering using a HeNe laser shows an abrupt and non-reversible increase in the scattered light intensity during the oxide desorption. This suggests the surface is macroscopically roughened due to inhomogeneous desorption of the oxide. The oxide desorption was also studied by monitoring the secondary electrons produced by the high energy electrons from the RHEED gun. After the gallium oxide desorption there is a reversible, order of magnitude, increase in the number of scattered electrons produced by the incoming primary beam. We interpret this result as evidence for some form of microscopic roughening.

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