Ordering of Si0.55Ge0.45 islands on vicinal Si(001) substrates: Interplay between kinetic step bunching and strain-driven island growth

Lichtenberger, H.; Mühlberger, M.; Schäffler, F.
March 2005
Applied Physics Letters;3/28/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 13, p131919
Academic Journal
We synchronized the kinetic and the strain-driven growth instabilities in the SiGe/Si(001) heterosystem to implement a two-stage self-organization scheme for the fabrication of long-range-ordered SiGe islands. In the first step, a homoepitaxial Si buffer is grown under optimized step-bunching conditions on a 4° miscut °<001) substrate. In the second step, SiGe is deposited under conditions that yield three-dimensional island growth in registry with the underlying step-bunching template. By varying the deposition temperature of the SiGe layer, the nucleation phase of the islands could be resolved: At 4°miscut along [110] the slope of the step-bunching areas is most favorable for their disintegration into trains of adjacent 105 and 015 facets upon pseudomorphic overgrowth with SiGe. This strain-driven step meandering instability is a precursor of the SiGe islands, which evolve during further coarsening. At high enough deposition temperatures, we find face-centered, rectangular island ordering that is entirely based on self-organization.


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