Gallium arsenide films grown on (211)Si by molecular-beam epitaxy have been investigated using transmission electron microscopy. The main defects observed in the alloy were of misfit dislocations, stacking faults, and microtwin lamellas. Silicon surface preparation was found to play an important role on the density of defects formed at the Si/GaAs interface.
Two different types of strained-layer superlattices, InGaAs/InGaP and InGaAs/GaAs, were applied either directly to the Si substrate, to a graded layer (GaP-InGaP), or to a GaAs buffer layer to stop the defect propagation into the GaAs films. Applying InGaAs/GaAs instead of InGaAs/InGaP was found to be more effective in blocking defect propagation. In all cases of strained-layer superlattices investigated, dislocation propagation was stopped primarily at the top interface between the superlattice package and GaAs. Graded layers and unstrained AlGaAs/GaAs superlattices did not significantly block dislocations propagating from the interface with Si. Growing of a 50 nm GaAs buffer layer at 505°C followed by 10 strained-layer superlattices of InGaAs/GaAs (5 nm each) resulted in the lowest dislocation density in the GaAs layer (∼;5×l07/cm2) among the structures investigated. This value is comparable to the recently reported density of dislocations in the GaAs layers grown on (100)Si substrates . Applying three sets of the same strained layersdecreased the density of dislocations an additional ∼2/3 times.