In order to know more about the surface state of GaAs(100) epitaxial wafer during a storage period of two years, the
XPS analysis was carried out four times on the surface, respectively polished by chemical etching, stored in desiccator
for half a year, one year and two years. The results indicated that even after cleaned by proper etchant solutions, the fresh
surface was slightly oxidized with Ga2O3, As2O3 and organic contaminant. The epi-wafer was always exposed to air during the storage period, so more and more oxides turned out. The mixed oxide layer comprised of C-OR, COOR, Ga2O3, As2O3 and As2O5 appeared after only half a year. In the ageing process of two years, the oxide types of gallium or arsenic did not change with stable content of Ga2O3 and remarkably fluctuating relative contents of As2O3 and As2O5. Based on the intensity ratio of Ga 3d-Ga2O3 to Ga 3d-GaAs, the thickness of oxide layer was estimated. The oxide layer generated after chemical polishing was very thin, just only 0.435nm thick, and then it grew rapidly, approximately 1.822nm after one year while almost no change any more subsequently. It was indicated that after the epi-wafer was
stored for one year, because of volatile As2O3 or As2O5, there remained a large amount of Ga2O3 in oxide layer, which prevented the reactions between bulk material and oxide layer with oxygen. So native oxide layer plays a role as passive film to protect epi-wafer against the environment during a long storage period.