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Title: Electronic Raman scattering as an ultra-sensitive probe of strain effects in semiconductors

In this study, the semiconductor strain engineering has become a critical feature of high-performance electronics because of the significant device performance enhancements that it enables. These improvements, which emerge from strain-induced modifications to the electronic band structure, necessitate new ultra-sensitive tools to probe the strain in semiconductors. Here, we demonstrate that minute amounts of strain in thin semiconductor epilayers can be measured using electronic Raman scattering. We applied this strain measurement technique to two different semiconductor alloy systems using coherently strained epitaxial thin films specifically designed to produce lattice-mismatch strains as small as 10 –4. Comparing our strain sensitivity and signal strength in Al xGa 1–xAs with those obtained using the industry-standard technique of phonon Raman scattering, we found that there was a sensitivity improvement of 200-fold and a signal enhancement of 4 × 10 3, thus obviating key constraints in semiconductor strain metrology.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  3. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
SAND-2014-18603J; NREL/JA-5K00-63977
Journal ID: iSSN 2041-1723; 540405
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000; AC36-08GO28308
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; physical sciences; applied physics; condensed matter; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; AlGaAs; Raman; strain
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1220707