Investigation on the surface characteristics of GaAs after sulfuric-vapor treatment

Ji Wan Kim, Min Gu Kang, Hyung Ho Park

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The chemical bonding state and surface morphology of sulfuric-vapor treated GaAs surface were investigated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The sulfuric vapor was obtained through the heating of (NH4)2Sx solution at 60 °C. At the initial state of the treatment, the decrease of elemental As and the generation of As-S bonds were observed. Even after all of the elemental As converted into As-S bonds, peak area of the As-S bond increased until 5 min exposure. Unlike the liquid-phase treatment, the dissolution of the elemental As did not happen during the treatment and the formation of As-polysulfides was observed. Through the surface treatment of the GaAs using sulfuric vapor, small particles were formed and increased with treatment time. After 5 min exposure, they were linked to form a large agglomerate. This corresponds to a deposit of polysulfides containing hydrogen. To evaluate the effectiveness of the sulfuric vapor-treatment against oxidation in air, the treated GaAs was exposed to air and compared with the GaAs treated using a (NH4)2Sx solution. The As-polysulfides and polysulfides containing hydrogen were revealed to be easily decomposed by exposure to air. The character of S bond with GaAs was revealed to be the most important to obtain a passivation effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-429
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov 1
EventProceedings of the 1999 26th International Conference on Metallurgic Coatings and Thin Films - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: 1999 Apr 121999 Apr 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Korea Research Foundation made in the program year 1998.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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