Iron-rich lamellae in the semiconductor

ScienceDaily | 12/7/2018 | Staff
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"Using the possibilities of our Ion Beam Center, we fired fast iron ions at a crystal made of indium arsenide, a semiconductor made of indium and arsenic," says Dr. Shengqiang Zhou, physicist at the HZDR Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research. "The iron penetrated approximately one hundred nanometers deep into the crystal surface." The iron ions remained in the minority -- they constituted only a few percent in the surface. The researchers then fired light pulses at the crystal using a laser. The flashes were ultra-short so that only the surface melted. "For much less than a microsecond, the top one hundred nanometers were a hot soup, whereas the crystal underneath remained cold and well ordered," Zhou says, describing the result.

The crystal surface cooled again just a blink of an eye after the laser bombardment. Something unusual had happened: the surface had essentially reverted back to the indium arsenide lattice structure. The cooling, however, was so rapid that the iron atoms did not have sufficient time to find and occupy a regular lattice state in the crystal. Instead, the metal atoms joined forces with their peers to form remarkable structures -- small two-dimensional lamellae, arranged in parallel.

Surprise - Iron - Atoms - Manner - Zhou

"It came as a surprise that the iron atoms were arranged in this manner," says Zhou....
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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