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Strain relaxation during the surfactant modified epitaxial growth of Ge/Si(001)

Thornton, J. M. C., Williams, A. A., MacDonald, John Emyr, van Silfhout, R. G., Finney, M. S. and Norris, C. 1992. Strain relaxation during the surfactant modified epitaxial growth of Ge/Si(001). Surface Science 273 (1-2) , pp. 1-8. 10.1016/0039-6028(92)90270-G

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The initial strain relaxation of Ge on Si(001) has been investigated during epitaxial growth modified by a “surfactant” layer of Sb. Grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction was used to measure the strain relaxation due to its high sensitivity to the in-plane distribution of lattice spacings. We have observed the critical thickness for strain relaxation in the Ge overlayer to be ~ 11 monolayers (ML), with further relaxation developing gradually and in stages. A meta-stable, partially relaxed layer forms up to a coverage of ~ 30 ML, after which a more pronounced relaxation takes place. Even at a coverage of ~ 55 ML, complete strain relief has not been reached, and was only achieved after a 700°C thermal anneal. Concurrent specular reflectivity measurements also reveal that the Ge overlayer grows in a layer-by-layer fashion, and not in the Stranski-Krastanow mode expected for the Ge/Si system. These data show dramatically how the modification of surface energies through the presence of a “surfactant” can affect the morphology of, and strain in, a lattice-mismatched heteroepitaxial system.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0039-6028
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:52

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