Skip to Main Content
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is used to study the topography of strained SiGe films and multilayer Si/SiGe heterostructures. Strain relaxation processes are found to determine the formation of surface morphology, with distinct morphological features arising from both misfit dislocation formation and three-dimensional growth of coherent islands and pits on the surface. Studies of these features for various values of strain (Ge content) and growth temperature reveal the underlying physical processes determining the strain relaxation. Fourier analysis of AFM images is performed to obtain quantitative roughness information and to separate roughness components of different physical origin.
Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.