Electron energy loss spectroscopy on semiconductor heterostructures for optoelectronics and photonics applications

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In this work, we present characterization methods for the analysis of nanometer-sized devices, based on silicon and III-V nitride semiconductor materials. These methods are devised in order to take advantage of the aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope, equipped with a monochromator. This set-up ensures the necessary high spatial and energy resolution for the characterization of the smallest structures. As with these experiments, we aim to obtain chemical and structural information, we use electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). The low-loss region of EELS is exploited, which features fundamental electronic properties of semiconductor materials and facilitates a high data throughput. We show how the detailed analysis of these spectra, using theoretical models and computational tools, can enhance the analytical power of EELS. In this sense, initially, results from the model-based fit of the plasmon peak are presented. Moreover, the application of multivariate analysis algorithms to low-loss EELS is explored. Finally, some physical limitations of the technique, such as spatial delocalization, are mentioned.

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