Growth of aluminum antimonide in solid aluminum-liquid antimony diffusion couples
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An investigation was made of the isothermal growth of the intermediate alloy phase aluminum antimonide AlSb, at the interfaces of diffusion couples consisting either of solid aluminum and liquid antimony or of solid aluminum and of an Sb−Al alloy slightly supersaturated in AlSb. The diffusion anneals were carried out in the temperature range 635° to 655°C and for times up to 48 hr. In the solid aluminum vs liquid antimony couples, it was found that considerable dissolution of solid aluminum occurred at the solid-liquid interface before the first crystals of AlSb appeared. Subsequently, a two-phase region, consisting of AlSb crystals of greatly varying sizes interspersed throughout the liquid antimony developed between the instantaneous solid-liquid interface and the original solid-liquid interface. The results suggest that the dominant mechanism influencing the growth of AlSb in these diffusion couples is diffusional mass transport of aluminum in liquid antimony. The rapid diffusion of aluminum leads first to the dissolution of solid aluminum and saturation of the liquid antimony, and next to the growth of large discrete crystals of AlSb presumably via an Ostwald-ripening mechanism.
KeywordsAntimony Diffusion Couple AlSb Solid Aluminum Indium Arsenide
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