A passivation process for a previously sulfided, selenided or tellurated III-V compound semiconductor surface. The concentration of undesired mid-gap surface states on a compound semiconductor surface is reduced by the formation of a near-monolayer of metal-(sulfur and/or selenium and/or tellurium)-semiconductor that is effective for long term passivation of the underlying semiconductor surface. Starting with the III-V compound semiconductor surface, any oxidation present thereon is substantially removed and the surface is then treated with sulfur, selenium or tellurium to form a near-monolayer of chalcogen-semiconductor of the surface in an oxygen-free atmosphere. This chalcogenated surface is then contacted with a solution of a metal that will form a low solubility chalcogenide to form a near-monolayer of metal-chalcogen-semiconductor. The resulting passivating layer provides long term protection for the underlying surface at or above the level achieved by a freshly chalcogenated compound semiconductor surface in an oxygen free atmosphere.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.