The technologically useful properties of a crystalline solid depend upon the concentration of defects it contains. Here we show that defect concentrations as deep as 0.5μm within a semiconductor can be profoundly influenced by gas adsorption. Self-diffusion rates within silicon show that nitrogen atoms adsorbed at less than 1% of a monolayer lead to defect concentrations that vary controllably over several orders of magnitude. The results show that previous measurements of diffusion and defect thermodynamics in semiconductors may have suffered from neglect of adsorption effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)