The use of Q-switched laser melting techniques to investigate new rapid solidification phenomena is described. It has been found that Si, Ge, GaP and GaAs can give rise to orientation-dependent, kinetically-controlled defect generation processes during fast recrystallization from the melt. Indeed, these materials yield amorphous phases at sufficiently high solidification rates. Ultra-fast pulsed melting permits the study of the basic thermodynamic properties of amorphous solids. It is shown that amorphous Si melts to give a normal, low viscosity, undercooled liquid and that novel explosive crystal growth processes can occur in this low temperature regime.
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The author would like to acknowledge close collaboration over several years with Hugh Webber, Nigel Chew and Don Hurle (RSRE) and with John Poate (Bell Labs). He also greatly appreciates stimulating interaction and discussions with Ken Jackson (Bell Labs), Pietro Baeri (Catania University) and Mike Thompson (Cornell University).
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Cullis, A.G. Ultra-High Speed Solidification and Crystal Growth in Transiently Molten Semiconductor Layers. MRS Online Proceedings Library 13, 75–82 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-13-75