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Elastic relaxation in an ultrathin strained silicon-on-insulator structure

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8 Author(s)
Xiong, Gang ; London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College London, London WC1H 0AH, United Kingdom ; Moutanabbir, Oussama ; Huang, Xiaojing ; Paknejad, Seyed A.
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Coherent x-ray diffraction was used to study the relaxation in single ultrathin strained silicon structures with nanoscale accuracy. The investigated structure was patterned from 20 nm thick strained silicon-on-insulator substrate with an initial biaxial tensile strain of 0.6%. Two-dimensional maps of the post-patterning relaxation were obtained for single 1 × 1 μm2 structures. We found that the relaxation is localized near the edges, which undergo a significant contraction due to the formation of free surfaces. The relaxation extent decreases exponentially towards the center with a decay length of 50 nm. Three-dimensional simulations confirmed that over-etching is needed to explain the relaxation behavior.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:99 ,  Issue: 11 )

Date of Publication:

Sep 2011

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