Local geometric control of basic synthesis parameters, such as elemental composition, is important for bottom-up synthesis and top-down device definition on-chip but remains a significant challenge. Here, we propose to use lithographically defined metal stacks for regulating the surface concentrations of freely diffusing synthesis elements on compound semiconductors. This is demonstrated by geometric control of Indium droplet formation on Indium Arsenide surfaces, an important consequence of incongruent evaporation. Lithographic defined Aluminium/Palladium metal patterns induce well-defined droplet-free zones during annealing up to 600 °C, while the metal patterns retain their lateral geometry. Compositional and structural analysis is performed, as well as theoretical modelling. The Pd acts as a sink for free In atoms, lowering their surface concentration locally and inhibiting droplet formation. Al acts as a diffusion barrier altering Pd’s efficiency. The behaviour depends only on a few basic assumptions and should be applicable to lithography-epitaxial manufacturing processes of compound semiconductors in general.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4541
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Free keywords

  • droplets, InAs, surface, XPEEM, metal contacts


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