Due to its high hole-mobility, GaSb is a highly promising candidate for high-speed p-channels in electronic devices. However, GaSb exhibits a comparably thick native oxide causing detrimental interface defects, which has been proven difficult to remove. Here we present full oxide removal from GaSb surfaces using effective hydrogen plasma cleaning, studied in-situ by synchrotron-based X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV). GaSb nanowires turn out to be cleaned faster and more efficiently than planar substrates. Since the UHV conditions are not scalable for industrial sample processing, H-plasma cleaning is furthermore used as pre-treatment prior to atomic layer deposition (ALD) of a protective high-k layer to demonstrate the use of the cleaning step in a more realistic fabrication situation. We observe a cleaning effect of the H-plasma even in the ALD environment, but we also find residual Ga- and Sb-oxides at the GaSb-high-k interface, which we attribute to re-oxidation of the cleaned surface. Our results indicate that an improved control of the ALD reactor vacuum environment could realize oxide- and defect-free interfaces in GaSb-based electronics.
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