Heterointerface-Driven Band Alignment Engineering and its Impact on Macro-Performance in Semiconductor Multilayer Nanostructures
Authors: Cai, CY; Zhao, YH; Xie, SW; Zhao, XB; Zhang, Y; Xu, YQ; Liang, CY; Niu, ZC; Shi, Y; Li, YS; Che, RC
Volume: 15 Issue: 27 Published: JUL 2019 Language: English Document type: Article
Interfaces in semiconductor heterostructures is of continuously greater significance in the trend of scaling materials down to the atomic limit. Since atoms tend to behave more irregularly around interfaces than in internal materials, accurate energy band alignment becomes a major challenge, which determines the ultimate performance of devices. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between heterointerface, energy band, and macro-performance is desiderated. Here, such interplay is explored by investigating asymmetric heterointerfaces with identical fabrication parameters in multiple-quantum-well lasers. The unexpected asymmetry derives from the atomic discrepancy around heterointerfaces, which ultimately improves the optical property through altered valence band offsets. Strain and charge distribution around heterointerfaces are characterized via geometric phase analysis and in situ bias electron holography, respectively. Combining experiments with theories, arsenic-enrichment at one of the interfaces is considered the origin of asymmetry. To reveal actual band alignment, valence band model is modified focusing on the transition around heterojunctions. The enhanced photoluminescence intensity reflects the alleviation of hole confinement insufficiency and the enlargement of valence band offset. The results help to advance the understanding of the general problem of interface in nanostructures and provide guidance applicable to various scenarios for micro-macro correlation.