Effect of strain on surface morphology in highly strained InGaAs films

C. W. Snyder, B. G. Orr, D. Kessler, L. M. Sander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The early stages of growth of highly strained InxGa1-xAs on GaAs(100) have been investigated as a function of composition. The evolution of the film microstructure as determined by in situ STM and RHEED is from a two-dimensional rippled surface in the beginning stages of growth to a three-dimensional island morphology. A growth mode is proposed whereby strain relaxation is initially achieved through the kinetically limited evolution of surface morphology. In contrast to traditional critical-thickness theories, significant strain relief is accommodated by a coherent island morphology. This study represents a new view for both the growth mode and initial strain relaxation in thin films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3032-3035
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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