Reading the footprints of strained islands

A. Rastelli, M. Stoffel, G. Katsaros, J. Tersoff, U. Denker, T. Merdzhanova, G. Kar, G. Costantini, K. Kern, H. Von Känel, O. Schmidt, Microelectronics Journal 37 (2006) 1471–1476.

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Abstract
We report on recent advances in the understanding of surface processes occurring during growth and post-growth annealing of strained islands which may find application as self-assembled quantum dots. We investigate the model system SiGe/Si(0 0 1) by a new approach based on "reading the footprints" which islands leave on the substrate during their growth and evolution. Such footprints consist of trenches carved in the Si substrate. We distinguish between surface footprints and footprints buried below the islands. The former allow us to discriminate islands which are in the process of growing from those which are shrinking. Islands with steep morphologies grow at the expense of smaller and shallower islands, consistent with the kinetics of anomalous coarsening. While shrinking, islands change their shape according to thermodynamic predictions. Buried footprints are investigated by removing the SiGe epilayer by means of selective wet chemical etching. Their reading shows that: (i) during post-growth annealing islands move laterally because of surface-mediated Si-Ge intermixing; (ii) a tree-ring structure of trenches is created by dislocated islands during their "cyclic" growth. This allows us to distinguish coherent from dislocated islands and to establish whether the latter are the result of island coalescence.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2006-12-01
Journal Title
Microelectronics Journal
Acknowledgement
This work was supported by the BMBF (03N8711)
Volume
37
Issue
12
Page
1471 - 1476
IST-REx-ID

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Rastelli A, Stoffel M, Katsaros G, et al. Reading the footprints of strained islands. Microelectronics Journal. 2006;37(12):1471-1476. doi:10.1016/j.mejo.2006.05.029
Rastelli, A., Stoffel, M., Katsaros, G., Tersoff, J., Denker, U., Merdzhanova, T., … Schmidt, O. (2006). Reading the footprints of strained islands. Microelectronics Journal, 37(12), 1471–1476. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mejo.2006.05.029
Rastelli, Armando, Mathieu Stoffel, Georgios Katsaros, Jerry Tersoff, Ulrich Denker, Tsvetelina Merdzhanova, Gouranga Kar, et al. “Reading the Footprints of Strained Islands.” Microelectronics Journal 37, no. 12 (2006): 1471–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mejo.2006.05.029.
A. Rastelli et al., “Reading the footprints of strained islands,” Microelectronics Journal, vol. 37, no. 12, pp. 1471–1476, 2006.
Rastelli A, Stoffel M, Katsaros G, Tersoff J, Denker U, Merdzhanova T, Kar G, Costantini G, Kern K, Von Känel H, Schmidt O. 2006. Reading the footprints of strained islands. Microelectronics Journal. 37(12), 1471–1476.
Rastelli, Armando, et al. “Reading the Footprints of Strained Islands.” Microelectronics Journal, vol. 37, no. 12, Elsevier, 2006, pp. 1471–76, doi:10.1016/j.mejo.2006.05.029.

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