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Variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry was used to estimate the thicknesses of all layers within the optical penetration depth of InCaAs-based modulation doped field effect transistor structures. Strained and unstrained InGaAs channels were made by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on InP substrates and by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition on GaAs substrates. In most cases. ellipsometrically determined thicknesses were within 10% of the growth-calibration results. The MBE-made InCaAs strained layers showed large strain effects, indicating a probable shift in the critical points of their dielectric function toward the InP lattice-matched concentration.