Reduced Dislocation Density in GaxIn1-xP Compositionally Graded Buffer Layers through Engineered Glide Plane Switch

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In this work we develop control over dislocation glide dynamics in GaxIn1−xP compositionally graded buffer layers (CGBs) through control of CuPt ordering on the group-III sublattice. The ordered structure is metastable in the bulk, so any glissile dislocation that disrupts the ordered pattern will release stored energy, and experience an increased glide force. Here we show how this connection between atomic ordering and dislocation glide force can be exploited to control the threading dislocation density (TDD) in GaxIn1−xP CGBs. When ordered GaxIn1−xP is graded from the GaAs lattice constant to InP, the order parameter η decreases as x decreases, and dislocation glide switches from one set of glide planes to the other. This glide plane switch (GPS) is accompanied by the nucleation of dislocations on the new glide plane, which typically leads to increased TDD. We develop control of the GPS position within a GaxIn1−xP CGB through manipulation of deposition temperature, surfactant concentration, and strain-grading rate. We demonstrate a two-stage GaxIn1−xP CGB from GaAs to InP with sufficiently low TDD for high performance devices, such as the 4-junction inverted metamorphic multi-junction solar cell, achieved through careful control the GPS position. Experimental results are analyzed within the context of a model that considers the force balance on dislocations on the two competing glide planes as a function of the degree of ordering.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-67043


  • high resolution x-ray diffraction
  • line defects
  • metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy
  • semiconducting indium gallium phosphide
  • solar cells


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