We have investigated the use of thin film technology to introduce controllable and thermally stable stress into semiconductor heterostructures. Two simple schemes are used. The first scheme is to use interfacial reactions between a metal and the substrate, such as Ni, Co, Pd, and Pt on GaAs/AlGaAs. The induced stress in the structure is reproducible and controllable because the volumetric change for a given reaction is fixed, as long as the deposited film is fully reacted to form a compound. The stability of the stress depends on the stability of the compound. In the case of Ni and Co on GaAs/AlGaAs, the induced stress is thermally stable up to 600°C. Evaporated films and reacted films are usually under tension. The second scheme is to use rf sputtered W or WNi alloy films where W or WNi is sputtered onto a negative dc biased substrate. This scheme effectively provides highly compressed films. The thermal stability depends on the concentration of Ni in the WNi alloy. Using the two schemes above, we have fabricated low-loss (∼1 dB/cm at 1.52 μm wavelength) photoelastic waveguides in GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures, and explored the interrelationship between the photoelastic waveguide characteristics and the stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)