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Experimental observations of surface roughness in uniaxially loaded strained Si microelectromechanical systems-based structures

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5 Author(s)
Escobedo-Cousin, E. ; School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Newcastle University, Merz Court, NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom ; Olsen, S.H. ; Pardoen, T. ; Bhaskar, U.
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Surface roughness in uniaxially loaded strained Si has been studied experimentally using high-resolution atomic force microscopy and a microelectromechanical systems-based on-chip loading device. A reduction in rms roughness from 0.29 nm to 0.07 nm has been identified as strain increases from 0 to 2.8% (stress from 0 to 4.9 GPa). The correlation length of the roughness, also known to affect carrier mobility, increases with increasing strain up to 1.7% before reducing at larger levels of strain. These results partly explain the high-field mobility observed in strained Si, indicating that a modified correlation length should also be considered in transport modelling of strained Si.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:99 ,  Issue: 24 )