3 April 2015 Towards rhombohedral SiGe epitaxy on 150mm c-plane sapphire substrates
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Previous work demonstrated for the first time the ability to epitaxially grow uniform single crystal diamond cubic SiGe (111) films on trigonal sapphire (0001) substrates. While SiGe (111) forms two possible crystallographic twins on sapphire (0001), films consisting primarily of one twin were produced on up to 99.95% of the total wafer area. This permits new bandgap engineering possibilities and improved group IV based devices that can exploit the higher carrier mobility in Ge compared to Si. Models are proposed on the epitaxy of such dissimilar crystal structures based on the energetic favorability of crystallographic twins and surface reconstructions.

This new method permits Ge (111) on sapphire (0001) epitaxy, rendering Ge an economically feasible replacement for Si in some applications, including higher efficiency Si/Ge/Si quantum well solar cells. Epitaxial SiGe films on sapphire showed a 280% increase in electron mobility and a 500% increase in hole mobility over single crystal Si. Moreover, Ge possesses a wider bandgap for solar spectrum conversion than Si, while the transparent sapphire substrate permits an inverted device structure, increasing the total efficiency to an estimated 30-40%, much higher than traditional Si solar cells. Hall Effect mobility measurements of the Ge layer in the Si/Ge/Si quantum well structure were performed to demonstrate the advantage in carrier mobility over a pure Si solar cell. Another application comes in the use of microelectromechanical devices technology, where high-resistivity Si is currently used as a substrate. Sapphire is a more resistive substrate and offers better performance via lower parasitic capacitance and higher film carrier mobility over the current Si-based technology.
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Adam J. Duzik, Adam J. Duzik, Yeonjoon Park, Yeonjoon Park, Sang H. Choi, Sang H. Choi, "Towards rhombohedral SiGe epitaxy on 150mm c-plane sapphire substrates", Proc. SPIE 9434, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2015, 943412 (3 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2085310; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2085310

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