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A set of GaAs Bi/GaAs multilayer quantum-well structures was deposited by metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy at 390 °C and 420 °C. The precursor fluxes were introduced with the intent of growing discrete and compositionally uniform GaAs Bi well and GaAs barrier layers in the epitaxial films. High-resolution high-angle annular-dark-field (or “Z-contrast”) scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging revealed concentration profiles that were periodic in the growth direction, but far more complicated in shape than the intended square wave. The observed composition profiles could explain various reports of physical properties measurements that suggest compositional inhomogeneity in GaAs Bi alloys as they currently are grown.


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