A recently discovered, enhanced Ge diffusion mechanism along the oxidizing interface of Si/SiGe nanostructures has enabled the formation of single-crystal Si nanowires and quantum dots embedded in a defect-free, single-crystal SiGe matrix. Here, we report oxidation studies of Si/SiGe nanofins aimed at gaining a better understanding of this novel diffusion mechanism. A superlattice of alternating Si/Si0.7Ge0.3layers was grown and patterned into fins. After oxidation of the fins, the rate of Ge diffusion down the Si/SiO2interface was measured through the analysis of HAADF-STEM images. The activation energy for the diffusion of Ge down the sidewall was found to be 1.1 eV, which is less than one-quarter of the activation energy previously reported for Ge diffusion in bulk Si. Through a combination of experiments and DFT calculations, we propose that the redistribution of Ge occurs by diffusion along the Si/SiO2interface followed by a reintroduction into substitutional positions in the crystalline Si.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science