Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Major

Physics, Applied Physics

Date of Defense

10-27-2016

Graduate Advisor

Bruce A. Wilking

Committee

Dr. Phil Fraundorf

Dr. David Osborn

Dr. Bernard Feldman

Abstract

The ability to prepare and characterize semiconductor material has wide implications for research to improve solar cell and device efficiencies. The variety of preparation techniques and characterization methods available allow us to explore materials in ways that were once not possible. However, the ability to obtain statistical information from prepared specimens is limited by residue caused by the specimen preparation process, the amount of volume or surface area that can be made accessible to characterization techniques, and the need for human pattern recognition to identify each structure, often given information on data obtained at more than one specimen orientation. This project explores some of those limitations through specimen preparation methods and characterization techniques. The research shows epitaxial lift-off in GaSb thin films is possible, that red, green and blue (RGB) pixel values can be used to measure thickness (within certain limitations including specimen image grey value and ambient lighting), and that oxygen cluster nucleation has a thermal history dependence that contributes to differences in oxygen precipitation (which correlates to functionality differences in device properties). These results contribute to advancements for semiconductor research and allow material advancements for more efficient solar and device performance in the future.

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