The role of the growth mode on lateral composition modulation is studied in short period superlattices of AlAs/InAs and GaAs/InAs. Reflection high energy electron diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy are used to monitor the growth mode and the quality of the interfaces. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy indicates that samples that grow via the layer-by-layer growth mode do not exhibit lateral composition modulation and the superlattice structure is well defined. Lateral composition modulation forms when roughening occurs during growth. However, too much roughening, i.e., three-dimensional island nucleation destroys the regularity of the composition modulation in both the lateral and vertical directions. These results are in general agreement with theoretical predictions.

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