Physical Review Letters

Strain imaging of nanoscale semiconductor heterostructures with x-ray bragg projection ptychography

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We report the imaging of nanoscale distributions of lattice strain and rotation in complementary components of lithographically engineered epitaxial thin film semiconductor heterostructures using synchrotron x-ray Bragg projection ptychography (BPP). We introduce a new analysis method that enables lattice rotation and out-of-plane strain to be determined independently from a single BPP phase reconstruction, and we apply it to two laterally adjacent, multiaxially stressed materials in a prototype channel device. These results quantitatively agree with mechanical modeling and demonstrate the ability of BPP to map out-of-plane lattice dilatation, a parameter critical to the performance of electronic materials. © 2014 American Physical Society.