Research Letters

Second harmonic generation as a technique to probe buried interfaces

P.H. Neethling, T. T. Scheidt, E.G. Rohwer, H.M. von Bergmann, H. Stafast
South African Journal of Science | Vol 105, No 7/8 | a74 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajs.v105i7/8.74 | © 2010 P.H. Neethling, T. T. Scheidt, E.G. Rohwer, H.M. von Bergmann, H. Stafast | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 January 2010 | Published: 19 January 2010

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P.H. Neethling,
T. T. Scheidt,
E.G. Rohwer,
H.M. von Bergmann,
H. Stafast,

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Abstract

Since the advances of femtosecond laser technology during the last decade, optical second harmonic generation (SHG) has proven itself a powerful tool to investigate the electronic and structural properties of semiconductor materials. Its advantage lies in the fact that it is a contact-less, non-intrusive method that can be used in situ. It is sensitive to systems with broken symmetry, in particular interfaces and surfaces. The Si/SiO2 system is technologically important since it forms a component of most modern electronic equipment. Furthermore, it has been shown that it is possible to induce an electric field across this interface by means of laser irradiation as a result of defect formation and defect population. This electric field can be measured since it determines the SHG signal. The anisotropy of the SHG signal from the Si/SiO2 interface was measured and showed four-fold symmetry, illustrating that the SHG technique was able to characterise the electrical properties of the interface below the 5 nm thick oxide layer.

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