1 Aarhus University2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Science and Technology, Aarhus University3 University of Oslo4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
Sublattice localization of impurities in compound semiconductors, e.g., ZnO, determines their electronic and optical action. Despite that the impurity position may be envisaged based on charge considerations, the actual localization is often unknown, limiting our understanding of the incorporation and possible doping mechanisms. In this study, we demonstrate that the preferential sublattice occupation for a number of impurities in ZnO can be revealed by monitoring Li diffusion. In particular, using ion implantation, the impurity incorporation into the Zn sublattice (holds for, B, Mg, P, Ag, Cd, and Sb) manifests in the formation of Li-depleted regions behind the implanted one, while Li pileups in the region of the implantation peaks for impurities residing on O sites, e.g., N. The behavior appears to be of general validity and the phenomena are explained in terms of the apparent surplus of Zn and O interstitials, related to the lattice localization of the impurities. Furthermore, Cd+O and Mg+O co-doping experiments revealed that implanted O atoms act as an efficient blocking “filter” for fast diffusing Zn interstitials.