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Characterization of electrical properties in axial Si-Ge nanowire heterojunctions using off-axis electron holography and atom-probe tomography
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Nanowires (NWs) consisting of P-doped Si/B-doped Ge axial heterojunctions were grown via vapor-liquid-solid synthesis using a combination of Au and AuGa catalyst particles. Off-axis electron holography (EH) was used to measure the electrostatic potential profile across the junction resulting from electrically active dopants, and atom-probe tomography (APT) was used to map total dopant concentration profiles. A comparison of the electrostatic potential profile measured from EH with simulations that were based on the APT results indicates that Ga atoms unintentionally introduced during AuGa catalyst growth were mostly electronically inactive. This finding was also corroborated by in situ electron-holography biasing experiments. Electronic band structure simulations guided by the experimental results helped to provide a much better explanation of the NW electrical behavior. Overall, this work demonstrates that the combination of EH, APT, in situ biasing, and simulations allows a more complete understanding of NW electrical properties to be developed.
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