Effect of twin boundary formation on the growth rate of the GaSb{111} plane

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The top surface of a crystal–melt interface was observed directly during directional solidification of polycrystalline GaSb at a constant cooling rate, and the effect of {111}Σ3 twin boundary formation on the rate of grain growth parallel to the 〈111〉 direction was investigated. A {111}Σ3 twin boundary was generated by the decomposition of another {111}Σ3 twin boundary with formation of a Σ9 grain boundary. The growth of the crystal–melt interface in the direction parallel to the <111>B direction was stalled during the nucleation and propagation of the new {111}Σ3 twin boundary. The growth rate of the crystal–melt interface after twin formation was approximately half of that before. This is considered to be due to {111} polarity reversal by twinning. The dangling bond density on the {111}A plane of GaSb is almost ten times of that on the {111}B plane, and the dangling bond density is related to the attachment energy of atoms of the plane; therefore, the growth rate in the <111>A direction would be significantly lower than that in the <111>B direction. These results indicate different growth rates in opposite 〈111〉 directions and a significant effect of the polarity on the competition of grain growth during the directional solidification of polycrystalline GaSb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-460
Number of pages8
JournalActa Materialia
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 15


  • Directional solidification
  • Grain growth
  • In situ
  • Semiconductor compounds
  • Twinning


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