Mapping the wave function of transition metal acceptor states in the GaAs surface

Anthony Richardella, Dale Kitchen, Ali Yazdani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We utilize a single-atom substitution technique with spectroscopic imaging in a scanning tunneling microscope to visualize the anisotropic spatial structure of magnetic and nonmagnetic transition metal acceptor states in the GaAs (110) surface. The character of the defect states play a critical role in the properties of the semiconductor, the localization of the states influencing such things as the onset of the metal-insulator transition and in dilute magnetic semiconductors the mechanism and strength of magnetic interactions that lead to the emergence of ferromagnetism. We study these states in the GaAs surface finding remarkable similarities between the shape of the acceptor-state wave function for Mn, Fe, Co, and Zn dopants, which is determined by the GaAs host and is generally reproduced by tight-binding calculations of Mn in bulk GaAs. The similarities originate from the antibonding nature of the acceptor states that arise from the hybridization of the impurity d levels with the host. A second deeper in-gap state is also observed for Fe and Co that can be explained by the symmetry breaking of the surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045318
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 6 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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