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characterization of electronic materials hgznse and hgznte using innovative and conventional techniquesHgZnSe and HgZnTe are electronic materials of interest for potential IR detector and focal plane array applications due to their improved strength and compositional stability over HgCdTe, but they are difficult to grow on Earth and to fully characterize. Conventional contact methods of characterization, such as Hall and van der Paw, although adequate for many situations are typically labor intensive and not entirely suitable where only very small samples are available. To adequately characterize and compare properties of electronic materials grown in low earth orbit with those grown on Earth, innovative techniques are needed that complement existing methods. This paper describes the implementation and test results of a unique non-contact method of characterizing uniformity, mobility, and carrier concentration together with results from conventional methods applied to HgZnSe and HgZnTe. The innovative method has advantages over conventional contact methods since it circumvents problems of possible contamination from alloying electrical contacts to a sample and also has the capability to map a sample. Non- destructive mapping, the determination of the carrier concentration and mobility at each place on a sample, provides a means to quantitatively compare, at high spatial resolution, effects of microgravity on electronic properties and uniformity of electronic materials grown in low-Earth orbit with Earth grown materials. The mapping technique described here uses a 1mm diameter polarized beam of radiation to probe the sample. Activation of a magnetic field, in which the sample is placed, causes the plane of polarization of the probe beam to rotate. This Faraday rotation is a function of the free carrier concentration and the band parameters of the material. Maps of carrier concentration, mobility, and transmission generated from measurements of the Faraday rotation angles over the temperature range from 300K to 77K will be presented. New information on band parameters, obtained by combining results from conventional Hall measurements of the free carrier concentration with Faraday rotation measurements, will also be presented. One example of how this type of information was derived is illustrated in the following figure which shows Faraday rotation vs wavelength modeled for Hg(l-x)ZnxSe at a temperature of 300K and x=0.07. The plasma contribution, total Faraday rotation, and interband contribution to the Faraday rotation, are designated in the Figure as del(p), FR tot, and del(i) respectively. Experimentally measured values of FR tot, each indicated by + , agree acceptably well with the model at the probe wavelength of 10.6 microns. The model shows that at the probe wavelength, practically all the rotation is due to the plasma component, which can be expressed as delta(sub p)= 2pi(e(sup 3))NBL/c(sup 2)nm*(sup 2) omega(sup 2). In this equation, delta(sub p) is the rotation angle due to the free carrier plasma, N is the free carrier concentration, B the magnetic field strength, L the thickness of the sample, n the index of refraction, omega the probe radiation frequency, c the speed of light, e the electron charge, and m* the effective mass. A measurement of N by conventional techniques, combined with a measurement of the Faraday rotation angle allows m* to be accurately determined since it is an inverse square function.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Tanton, George
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Kesmodel, Roy
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Burden, Judy
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Su, Ching-Hua
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Cobb, Sharon D.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Lehoczky, S. L.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2000
Subject Category
Solid-State Physics
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.