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Semiconductor structures having electrically insulating and conducting portions formed from an AlSb-alloy layer

United States Patent

5,726,462
March 10, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A semiconductor structure. The semiconductor structure comprises a plurality of semiconductor layers formed on a substrate including at least one layer of a III-V compound semiconductor alloy comprising aluminum (Al) and antimony (Sb), with at least a part of the AlSb-alloy layer being chemically converted by an oxidation process to form superposed electrically insulating and electrically conducting portions. The electrically insulating portion formed from the AlSb-alloy layer comprises an oxide of aluminum (e.g. Al.sub.2 O.sub.3), while the electrically conducting portion comprises Sb. A lateral oxidation process allows formation of the superposed insulating and conducting portions below monocrystalline semiconductor layers for forming many different types of semiconductor structures having particular utility for optoelectronic devices such as light-emitting diodes, edge-emitting lasers, vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, photodetectors and optical modulators (waveguide and surface normal), and for electronic devices such as heterojunction bipolar transistors, field-effect transistors and quantum-effect devices. The invention is expected to be particularly useful for forming light-emitting devices for use in the 1.3-1.6 .mu.m wavelength range, with the AlSb-alloy layer acting to define an active region of the device and to effectively channel an electrical current therein for efficient light generation.
Spahn; Olga B. (Albuquerque, NM), Lear; Kevin L. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 597,730
February 7, 1996
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.