Summer 2012 Intern Project- Tyler Rhodes

MOLECULAR BEAM EPITAXY GROWTH OF HIGH QUALITY LuPtSb THIN FILMS


Tyler Rhodes
Mechanical Engineering
UC Santa Barbara

Mentor: Sahil Patel
Faculty Advisor: Chris Palmstorm
Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Half-Heusler compounds, such as LuPtSb, are of growing interest in materials science for potential applications in energy efficiency and spintronics. To further investigate half-Heusler crystal structures and their interesting electrical and thermal properties, high quality thin films of LuPtSb have been grown and characterized so that the fundamental properties of the material can be studied. Characterization of fundamental properties requires extremely pure, monocrystalline samples of the material. Such samples have been grown using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), a process which yields highly crystalline, epitaxial thin films. This work presents a study of the growth of InSb, which is used as a substrate for LuPtSb growth, and LuPtSb by MBE. Reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) was used to monitor the growth of InSb on GaSb and LuPtSb on InSb. Lastly, X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to characterize the crystallinity and structure of the LuPtSb films. Electrical transport measurements on these films will be used to study the fundamentals of the electronic structure of LuPtSb.

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