By calculations in the framework of the valence force field method, we show that nitrogen atoms in diluted GaAs1xNx tend to align along the [001] direction. In quaternary alloys Ga1yInyAs1xNx this tendency is observed only in “as-grown” samples, while in the annealed samples nitrogen atoms build more energetically favorable bonds with indium. Experimentally observed inhomogeneous strain profiles in these material systems, as well as their dissolution upon annealing, agree qualitatively with results of the calculations.

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