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Incorporation and stability of carbon during low-temperature epitaxial growth of Ge1-xCx (x≪0.1) alloys on Si(100): Microstructural and Raman studies

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3 Author(s)
Yang, B.-K. ; Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan 49931 ; Krishnamurthy, M. ; Weber, W.H.

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Low-temperature (∼200 °C) molecular beam epitaxy of Ge1-xCx alloys grown on Si(100) have been extensively investigated by in situ reflection high-energy electron diffraction, ex situ x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Carbon concentrations were nominally varied from 0 up to ∼10 at. %. Selected samples were annealed in an Ar ambient at 750 °C to evaluate the stability of the thin films. A few films were also grown on Ge substrates. With increasing C concentration, the epitaxial growth mode changes from two dimensional layer growth to three dimensional island growth. The surface has a tendency to facet along {311} planes under certain growth conditions. The microstructure shows an increase in planar defect density with increasing C concentration. The x-ray diffraction data show that the lattice parameter decreases with increasing C concentration and that a maximum of 1 at. % C is incorporated substitutionally in Ge. Raman spectroscopy shows no clear Ge–C signal though extra intensity is measured at the energies where Ge–C modes may be expected. Films with nominal C concentrations greater than 2 to 3 at. % show clear evidence for amorphous C. We propose that under our growth conditions, nominal C in excess of about 2 to 3 at. % remains on the surface as amorphous C and plays an important role in 3D islanding, defect formation, and {311} faceting during epitaxial growth. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:82 ,  Issue: 7 )