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Defect structure of Ge(111)/cubic Pr2O3(111)/Si(111) heterostructures: Thickness and annealing dependence

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10 Author(s)
Giussani, A. ; IHP, Im Technologiepark 25, 15236 Frankfurt (Oder), Germany ; Zaumseil, P. ; Rodenbach, P. ; Weidner, G.
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The defect structure of Ge(111) epilayers grown by molecular beam epitaxy on cubic Pr2O3(111)/Si(111) support systems was investigated by means of transmission electron microscopy and laboratory-based x-ray diffraction techniques. Three main types of defects were identified, namely, rotation twins, microtwins, and stacking faults, and studied as a function of Ge film thickness and after annealing at 825 °C in ultrahigh vacuum. Rotation twins were found to be localized at the Ge(111)/cubic Pr2O3(111) interface and their amount could be lowered by the thermal treatment. Microtwins across {111} were detected only in closed Ge films, after Ge island coalescence. The fraction of Ge film volume affected by microtwinning is constant within the thickness range of ∼20–260 nm. Beyond 260 nm, the density of microtwins is clearly reduced, resulting in thick layers with a top part of higher crystalline quality. Microtwins resulted insensitive to the postdeposition annealing. Instead, the density of stacking faults across {111} planes decreases with the thermal treatment. In conclusion, the defect density was proved to diminish with increasing Ge thickness and after annealing. Moreover, it is noteworthy that the annealing generates a tetragonal distortion in the Ge films, which get in-plane tensely strained, probably due to thermal mismatch between Ge and Si.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:106 ,  Issue: 7 )