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Atomic structure of postgrowth annealed epitaxial Fe/(001)GaAs interfaces


The interfacial atomic structure of epitaxial Fe films grown by molecular beam epitaxy on c(4x4) reconstructed (001) GaAs was investigated using high-angle annular dark-field imaging in scanning transmission electron microscopy. No extended interfacial reaction phase is observed and the image contrast is discussed in terms of the interface atomic configuration. The images show an As-terminated semiconductor. The interface consists of a single partially occupied plane inserted between the Fe film and the GaAs, which most likely is occupied by Fe. This interface structure provides strong evidence for preferential Fe–As bonding across the interface.

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