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What is Epitaxy?

Answer #1

Level 3 (up to Physics B.Sc.)
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The word "epitaxy" comes from the Greek and means: "to arrange on something". So, in epitaxy, atoms are arranged on a substrate (on its surface), which has a crystal structure. Atoms placed on the substrate arrange themselves according to the crystal structure of the substrate.

  • In homoepitaxy, the atomic layer consists of the same atoms as the substrate.

  • In heteroepitaxy, the atomic layer consists of different atoms than the substrate.

This is how semiconductor layers are created that are used in LEDs and lasers, for example.

Illustration : Molecular beam epitaxy as an epitaxial method.