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EM 397 Term Paper: Dislocations in Epitaxial Thin Films

Dislocations are common in epitaxial systems. For a thin film epitaxially grown on a substrate with coherent interface, it may have spontaneously-formed dislocations when its thickness is larger than certain value, i.e. critical thickness. The presence of dislocations can have an adverse effect on electrical performance of semiconductor materials, providing easy diffusion paths for dopants to lead to short circuits, or recombination centers to reduce carrier density. And, formation of dislocations is one of the most observed mechanisms of relaxation of mismatch strain. However, in optoelectric applications, strain alters the electronic bandgap and band edge alignment, and should be maintained. So, controlling formation of dislocations is very important in the manufacture of microelectronic and optoelectronic devices.

This term paper will review some basic concepts and try to produce some understanding about the control dislocation formation.


1. Freund, L.B. (2000) The mechanics of electronic materials, International Journal of Solids and Structures 37, 185-196.

2. Freund, L.B. and Suresh, S. (2003) Thin film materials: stress, defect formation and surface evolution, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

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