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Keywords:

  • high-speed mapping;
  • three-dimensional reciprocal-space mapping;
  • real-time measurement;
  • surface diffraction;
  • strain relaxation;
  • molecular beam epitaxy;
  • InGaAs thin films

This paper describes the development of a high-speed three-dimensional reciprocal-space mapping method designed for the real-time monitoring of the strain relaxation process during the growth of heterostructure semiconductors. Each three-dimensional map is obtained by combining a set of consecutive images, which are captured during the continuous rotation of the sample, and calculating the reciprocal-space coordinates from the detector coordinate system. To demonstrate the feasibility of this rapid mapping technique, the 022 asymmetric diffraction of an InGaAs/GaAs(001) thin film grown by molecular beam epitaxy was measured and the procedure for data calibration was examined. Subsequently, the proposed method was applied to real-time monitoring of the strain relaxation process during the growth of a thin-film heterostructure consisting of In0.07Ga0.93As and In0.18Ga0.82As layers consecutively deposited on GaAs(001). The time resolution of the measurement was 10 s. It was revealed that additional relaxation of the first In0.07Ga0.93As layer was induced by the growth of the second In0.18Ga0.82As layer within a short period of time corresponding to the deposition of only two monolayers of InGaAs.