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Published July 1998 | public
Journal Article Open

Stabilizing the surface morphology of Si1–x–yGexCy/Si heterostructures grown by molecular beam epitaxy through the use of a silicon-carbide source


Si1–x–yGexCy/Si superlattices were grown by solid-source molecular beam epitaxy using silicon carbide as a source of C. Samples consisting of alternating layers of nominally 25 nm Si1–x–yGexCy and 35 nm Si for 10 periods were characterized by high-resolution x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry to determine strain, thickness, and composition. C resonance backscattering and secondary ion mass spectrometries were used to measure the total C concentration in the Si1–x–yGexCy layers, allowing for an accurate determination of the substitutional C fraction to be made as a function of growth rate for fixed Ge and substitutional C compositions. For C concentrations close to 1%, high-quality layers were obtained without the use of Sb-surfactant mediation. These samples were found to be structurally perfect to a level consistent with cross-sectional TEM (< 10^7 defects/cm^2) and showed considerably improved homogeneity as compared with similar structures grown using graphite as the source for C. For higher Ge and C concentrations, Sb-surfactant mediation was found to be required to stabilize the surface morphology. The maximum value of substitutional C concentration, above which excessive generation of stacking fault defects caused polycrystalline and/or amorphous growth, was found to be approximately 2.4% in samples containing between 25 and 30% Ge. The fraction of substitutional C was found to decrease from roughly 60% by a factor of 0.86 as the Si1–x–yGexCy growth rate increased from 0.1 to 1.0 nm/s.

Additional Information

©1998 American Vacuum Society. (Received 9 September 1997; accepted 18 May 1998) Partial support for this work was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) monitored by Lt. Col. Gernot Pomrenke under Contract No. MDA972-95-3-0047. Presented at the Silicon Heterostructures Conference, Barga, Italy, 15–19 September 1997.


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