16 April 2016 Low temperature rhombohedral single crystal SiGe epitaxy on c-plane sapphire
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Abstract
Current best practice in epitaxial growth of rhombohedral SiGe onto (0001) sapphire (Al2O3) substrate surfaces requires extreme conditions to grow a single crystal SiGe film. Previous models described the sapphire surface reconstruction as the overriding factor in rhombohedral epitaxy, requiring a high temperature Al-terminated surface for high quality films. Temperatures in the 850-1100°C range were thought to be necessary to get SiGe to form coherent atomic matching between the (111) SiGe plane and the (0001) sapphire surface. Such fabrication conditions are difficult and uneconomical, hindering widespread application. This work proposes an alternative model that considers the bulk sapphire structure and determines how the SiGe film nucleates and grows. Accounting for thermal expansion effects, calculations using this new model show that both pure Ge and SiGe can form single crystal films in the 450-550°C temperature range. Experimental results confirm these predictions, where x-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy show the films fabricated at low temperature rival the high temperature films in crystallographic and surface quality. Finally, an explanation is provided for why films of comparable high quality can be produced in either temperature range.
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Adam J. Duzik, Sang H. Choi, "Low temperature rhombohedral single crystal SiGe epitaxy on c-plane sapphire", Proc. SPIE 9802, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2016, 98020D (16 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2218646; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2218646
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