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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E02209X/1
Title: Development of an epitaxial lift-off technique for II-VI semiconductor heterostructures
Principal Investigator: Prior, Dr KA
Other Investigators:
Warburton, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr C Bradford
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2006 Ends: 30 September 2007 Value (£): 101,602
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
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Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
II-VI semiconductors have many properties which are different from their III-V counterparts. One important property is the exciton binding energy which is much larger in II-VI compounds such as ZnSe and CdSe and can be increased still further by suitable confinement. This means that in ZnSe and CdSe excitons can be studied at room temperature or at high densities where complexes such as biexcitons can be observed. However, to study these phenomena in wide bandgap II-VI compounds requires an even wider bandgap barrier material. MgS is such a material and can be grown with low strain on GaAs in combination with ZnSe and CdSe. MgS is not an easy material to produce. The growth of this material was pioneered at Heriot-Watt and currently, we are one of only three labs worldwide where such MgS containing structures can be grown.We recently found that MgS has one other useful advantage, which is that weak acid can be used to dissolve it, separating the structure grown on top of it from the unwanted substrate underneath. This technique, called epitaxial lift-off, is a very powerful method of generating layers which can then be studied or subject to further processing. For example, the layers can easily be incorporated into optical cavities or placed on to a substrate with completely different physical properties.Unfortunately, this technique means that we can not use MgS as a barrier layer in the same structure. Recently, we have recently found that adding a small amount of zinc to MgS creates an alloy which has good confinement and resists the acid etching solution. This alloy has a large strain to GaAs, but it suggests that there are other related low strain alloys which would be entirely compatible with the structures we currently grow.In this study we aim to find the most suitable wide bandgap alloy composition which we can use which resists our etching solution. We will then demonstrate its use in semiconductor structures in combination with MgS, where the MgS allows us to perform epitaxial lift-off and the new alloy resists the etching and gives the confinement.
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Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk