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Published June 16, 2003 | Published
Journal Article Open

Void-mediated formation of Sn quantum dots in a Si matrix


Atomic scale analysis of Sn quantum dots (QDs) formed during the molecular beam-epitaxy (MBE) growth of Sn_xSi_(1−x) (0.05 ⩽ x ⩽ 0.1) multilayers in a Si matrix revealed a void-mediated formation mechanism. Voids below the Si surface are induced by the lattice mismatch strain between Sn_xSi_(1−x) layers and Si, taking on their equilibrium tetrakaidecahedron shape. The diffusion of Sn atoms into these voids leads to an initial rapid coarsening of quantum dots during annealing. Since this formation process is not restricted to Sn, a method to grow QDs may be developed by controlling the formation of voids and the diffusion of materials into these voids during MBE growth.

Additional Information

© 2003 American Institute of Physics. Received 19 February 2003; accepted 21 April 2003. This work was supported by NSF under Grant No. DMR-9733895 to N.D.B. and a grant to P.M. by CRB of UIC. The JEOL 2010F was purchased in part with support from NSF under Grant No. DMR-9601792. Nanocrystal synthesis and characterization at Caltech (H.A.A., R.R., and K.S.M.) was supported by NSF under Grant No. ECS-0103543.

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