We report on a TEM study of Sb-adjusted quaternary Al0.5Ga0.5As1-y Sby buffer-layers grown on <001> GaAs substrates. A series of structures were grown by MBE at 470°C that utilize a multilayer grading scheme in which the Sb content of Al0.5Ga0.5As1-ySby is successively increased in a series of eight 125 nm thick layers. Post growth analysis using conventional bright field and weak beam dark field imaging of these buffer layers in cross-section reveals that the interface misfit dislocations are primarily of the 60° type and are distributed through out the interfaces of the buffer layer. Plan view studies show that the threading dislocation density in the active regions of the structure (approximately 2 μm from the GaAs substrate) is 105–6/cm2 which is comparable to equivalent InxGa1−x As buffers. Weak Sb-As compositional modulations with a period of 1.8 nm were observed that provide a marker for establishing the planarity of the growth process. These features reveal that the growth surface remains planar through out the buffer layer growth sequence.
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