Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dilute ferromagnetic semiconductors prepared by the combination of ion implantation with pulse laser melting

Combining semiconducting and ferromagnetic properties, dilute ferromagnetic semiconductors (DFS) have been under intensive investigation for more than two decades. Mn doped III–V compound semiconductors have been regarded as the prototype of DFS from both experimental and theoretic investigations. The magnetic properties of III–V:Mn can be controlled by manipulating free carriers via electrical gating, as for controlling the electrical properties in conventional semiconductors. However, the preparation of DFS presents a big challenge due to the low solubility of Mn in semiconductors. Ion implantation followed by pulsed laser melting (II-PLM) provides an alternative to the widely used low-temperature molecular beam epitaxy (LT-MBE) approach. Both ion implantation and pulsed-laser melting occur far enough from thermodynamic equilibrium conditions. Ion implantation introduces enough dopants and the subsequent laser pulse deposit energy in the near-surface region to drive a rapid liquid-phase epitaxial growth. Here, we review the experimental study on preparation of III–V:Mn using II-PLM. We start with a brief description about the development of DFS and the physics behind II-PLM. Then we show that ferromagnetic GaMnAs and InMnAs films can be prepared by II-PLM and they show the same characteristics of LT-MBE grown samples. Going beyond LT-MBE, II-PLM is successful to bring two new members, GaMnP and InMnP, into the family of III–V:Mn DFS. Both GaMnP and InMnP films show the signature of DFS and an insulating behavior. At the end, we summarize the work done for Ge:Mn and Si:Mn using II-PLM and present suggestions for future investigations. The remarkable advantage of II-PLM approach is its versatility. In general, II-PLM can be utilized to prepare supersaturated alloys with mismatched components.