Preliminary studies in the electrodeposition of PbSe/PbTe superlattice thin films via electrochemical atomic layer deposition (ALD)
This paper concerns the electrochemical growth of compound semiconductor thin film superlattice structures using electrochemical atomic layer deposition (ALD). Electrochemical ALD is the electrochemical analogue of atomic layer epitaxy (ALE) and ALD, methods based on nanofilm formation an atomic layer at a time, using surface-limited reactions. Underpotential deposition (UPD) is a type of electrochemical surfaced-limited reaction used in the present studies for the formation of PbSe/PbTe superlattices via electrochemical ALD. PbSe/PbTe thin-film superlattices with modulation wavelengths ( periods) of 4.2 and 7.0 nm are reported here. These films were characterized using electron probe microanalysis, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and infrared reflection absorption measurements. The 4.2 nm period superlattice was grown after deposition of 10 PbSe cycles, as a prelayer, resulting in an overall composition of PbSe0.52Te0.48. The 7.0 nm period superlattice was grown after deposition of 100 PbTe cycle prelayer, resulting for an overall composition of PbSe0.44Te0.56. The primary Bragg diffraction peak position, 2 theta, for the 4.2 superlattice was consistent with the average ( 111) angles for PbSe and PbTe. First-order satellite peaks, as well as a second, were observed, indicating a high-quality superlattice film. For the 7.0 nm superlattice, Bragg peaks for both the ( 200) and ( 111) planes of the PbSe/PbTe superlattice were observed, with satellite peaks shifted 1 degrees closer to the ( 111), consistent with the larger period of the superlattice. AFM suggested conformal superlattice growth on the Au on glass substrate. Band gaps for the 4.2 and 7.0 nm period superlattices were measured as 0.48 and 0.38 eV, respectively.