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Dislocation cores have long dominated the electronic and optical behaviors of semiconductor devices and detailed atomic characterization is required to further explore their effects. Miniaturization of semiconductor devices to nanometre scale also puts emphasis on a material's mechanical properties to withstand failure due to processing or operational stresses. Sessile junctions of dislocations provide barriers to propagation of mobile dislocations and may lead to work-hardening. The sessile Lomer-Cottrell and Hirth lock dislocations, two stable lowest elastic energy stair-rods, are studied in this paper. More specifically, using atomic resolution high-angle annular dark-field imaging and atomic-column-resolved X-ray spectrum imaging in an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope, dislocation core structures are examined in zinc-blende CdTe. A procedure is outlined for atomic scale analysis of dislocation junctions which allows determination of their identity with specially tailored Burgers circuits and also formation mechanisms of the polar core structures based on Thompson's tetrahedron adapted to reactions of polar dislocations as they appear in CdTe and other zinc-blende solids. Strain fields associated with the dislocations calculated via geometric phase analysis are found to be diffuse and free of `hot spots' that reflect compact structures and low elastic energy of the pure-edge stair-rods.

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