Dislocation-free Ge Nano-crystals via Pattern Independent Selective Ge Heteroepitaxy on Si Nano-Tip Wafers.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/srep22709
The integration of dislocation-free Ge nano-islands was realized via selective molecular beam epitaxy on Si nano-tip patterned substrates. The Si-tip wafers feature a rectangular array of nanometer sized Si tips with (001) facet exposed among a SiO2 matrix. These wafers were fabricated by complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) compatible nanotechnology. Calculations based on nucleation theory predict that the selective growth occurs close to thermodynamic equilibrium, where condensation of Ge adatoms on SiO2 is disfavored due to the extremely short re-evaporation time and diffusion length. The growth selectivity is ensured by the desorption-limited growth regime leading to the observed pattern independence, i.e. the absence of loading effect commonly encountered in chemical vapor deposition. The growth condition of high temperature and low deposition rate is responsible for the observed high crystalline quality of the Ge islands which is also associated with negligible Si-Ge intermixing owing to geometric hindrance by the Si nano-tip approach. Single island as well as area-averaged characterization methods demonstrate that Ge islands are dislocation-free and heteroepitaxial strain is fully relaxed. Such well-ordered high quality Ge islands present a step towards the achievement of materials suitable for optical applications.