• 61.50.Ks;
  • 78.20.Ci;
  • 78.66.Li


MnAs layers with 45 nm thickness were grown epitaxially on GaAs(001) substrates. Ellipsometry measurements were made in the spectral range 0.045 eV to 6 eV as a function of temperature (between –10 °C and 50 °C) at 70° of incidence. In this way the transition from the hexagonal α-phase to the orthorhombic β-phase could be monitored. Non-zero off-diagonal elements of the Jones matrix for an azimuth of 38° off the [1equation image0] axis of the substrate indicate that the optical functions of MnAs are anisotropic in both phases. The optical conductivity exhibits low-energy interband transitions around 0.3 eV, more clearly seen in the α-phase than in the β-phase. Extrapolation of the optical conductivity to zero frequency confirms that the α-phase is about two times more conducting than the β-phase. A broad structure is observed in the visible range around 3 eV. The α-phase is characterised by an anisotropy induced energy difference of this structure with a maximum at 2.8 eV for the extraordinary index and at 3.15 eV for the ordinary index. This difference vanishes in the β-phase in which anisotropy mainly induces changes in amplitude of the 3 eV structure. The assignment of the structures will be discussed. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)