Abstract: In dislocation-free silicon, intrinsic point defects – either vacancies or self-interstitials, depending on the growth conditions - are incorporated into a growing crystal. Their incorporated concentration is relatively low (normally, less than 1014 cm-3 - much lower than the concentration of impurities). In spite of this, they play a crucial role in the control of the structural properties of silicon materials. Modern silicon crystals are grown mostly in the vacancy mode and contain many vacancy-based agglomerates. At typical grown-in vacancy concentrations the dominant agglomerates are voids, while at lower vacancy concentrations there are different populations of joint vacancy-oxygen agglomerates (oxide plates). Larger plates – formed in a narrow range of vacancy concentration and accordingly residing in a narrow spatial band – are responsible for the formation of stacking fault rings in oxidized wafers. Using advanced crystal growth techniques, whole crystals can be grown at such low concentrations of vacancies or self-interstitials such that they can be considered as perfect.
Abstract: The peculiarities of a buried layer formation obtained by a co-implantation of O2 ions with the energy of 130 keV and carbon ions within the energy range of 30-50 keV have been investigated. The corresponding ion doses for carbon and oxygen ions were equal to 2∙1016 cm-2 and 1.8∙1017 cm-2, respectively. It has been observed that annealing at 1150°C results in enhanced oxygen diffusion towards the region with a maximum carbon concentration. Analysis of x-ray diffraction patterns and TEM images confirm formation of Si nanoclusters in the SiO2 buried layer. The intensive luminescence with the maximum at 600 nm has been observed in the synthesized structures.
Abstract: We present a novel Ge on Si based LED with unstrained i-Ge active region. The device operates at room temperature and emits photons with energy of 0.8 eV. It basically resembles a p-i-n structure formed on a sub-micrometer thin Ge layer. The Ge layer has been grown on Si substrate by utilizing thin virtual buffer, so it becomes stress free but with high threading dislocation density. We show that such forward biased diode generates strong emission, caused by direct band to band transition in Ge. Using an InSb based detector we were able to analyze the emission spectrum in a broad energy range. We show that at low and moderate currents, features belonging to the direct and the indirect band to band electronic transitions are present which are characteristic for Ge. Clearly dominating is the direct transition related peak. Due to the missing stress-related red shift this peak appears close to the desired communication wave length of 1.55 μm. The dependence of radiation intensity on the excitation current follows a power low with exponent of 1.7, indicating that the recombination rate of the competitive nonradiative processes is relatively low. At high excitation currents features appear in the low energetic part of the spectrum. All results presented here are discussed in view of the outcome from measurements on Ge high quality bulk material. The role of the dislocation in the Ge films is discussed.
Abstract: Si1-xGex alloys with small atomic fraction of Ge, x≤ 0.05 are investigated. The Hall mobility of electrons in n-type materials was measured at cryogenic temperatures, T≤ 100 K. Taking into account the partial mobility due to charge carrier scattering by ionized centers and phonons it is possible to estimate the partial mobility associated with alloy scattering. It appears that this contribution to the electron mobility in n-Si1-xGex at low temperatures is important even at x≈0.01. The obtained results can be useful for understanding the nature of SiGe alloys and their transport properties.
Abstract: Creation and transformation of defects in single crystalline (001) oriented Si-Ge with about 5.6 at. % Ge content, containing oxygen interstitials, Oi’s, at 9x1017cm-3 level, were investigated, after processing for 5 h at up to 1400 K (HT) under Ar pressure to 1.1 GPa (HP), by X-ray, synchrotron, infrared and photoluminescence methods. To create nucleation centres for Oi’s precipitation, some samples were pre-annealed for 10 h at 1000 K under 105 Pa. HT-HP treatment at 1230/1400 K results in improved sample homogeneity and crystallographic perfection. HT-HP induced changes in Si-Ge are related mainly to HP-stimulated diffusivity of Ge.
Abstract: Selective epitaxial growth of germanium (Ge) on nano-structured Si(001) wafers is studied to evaluate the applicability of the nano-heteroepitaxy (NHE) approach on Ge-Si system. Based on a gate spacer technology established in advanced silicon microelectronics periodic arrays of nano-scaled Si islands are prepared, where Ge is deposited on top by reduced pressure CVD. The spacing of these structures is 360 nm. The structural perfection of the deposited Ge is investigated by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. It is found that SiO2 used as masking material is responsible for the suppression of the desired strain partitioning effect according to NHE. Even for 10 nm oxide thickness, the lattice of Ge layers deposited on Si nano-islands relaxes completely by generation of misfit dislocations at the interface. The occurrence of additional structural defects like stacking faults and micro twins can be controlled by suited growth conditions.
Abstract: Vertical p-type Si nanowires (NWs) "in-situ" doped during growth or "ex-situ" by B ion implantation are investigated regarding their acceptor activation. Due to the much higher surface to volume ratio of the NW in comparison to bulk material the surface effect plays an important role in determining the doping behaviour. Dopant segregation and fixed positive charges at the Si/SiO2 interface result in an acceptor deactivation. The B concentration introduced into the NW has to balance the deactivation effects in order to reach the intended electrical parameters. Scanning spreading resistance microscopy is used for the electrical characterization of the NWs. This analysis method provides images of the local resistivity of NW cross sections. Resistivity data are converted into acceptor concentration values by calibration. The study demonstrates that scanning spreading resistance microscopy is a suitable analysis method capable to spatially and electrically resolve Si NWs in the nanometer-scale. The NW resistivity is found to be size dependent and shows a significant increase as the NW is below 25 nm in diameter. The obtained data can be explained by a core-shell model with a highly conductive NW core and low conductive shell.
Abstract: We fabricated and characterized NIR-active Schottky-contact solar cells with PbS nanocrystals (NCs) as the active medium. The photovoltaic e ffect is due to carrier generation in the PbS NCs as proven by the comparison of the spectrally-resolved external quantum effciency of the devices and absorbance spectra of the PbS NCs. The operative regime is extended well beyond the Si bandgap into the infrared spectral region up to 1500 nm limited by our measurement setup. One sun I-V and time-resolved photocurrent measurements help to identify critical solar cell parameters for the further improvement of PbS NC Schottky-contact solar cells.
Abstract: In this work we report the results of the synthesis, structural and optical characterization of SiO2/Ge/SiO2 heterostructures by reactive RF sputtering. The SiO2 films were grown by reactive sputtering employing a plasma mixture of oxygen and argon. The Ge layer was grown employing an Ar atmosphere. The samples were prepared on p-type Si (1 1 1) substrates by reactive sputtering. The effect of the partial pressure of oxygen on the electronic properties of the heterostructure is reported. Structural characterization was carried out by grazing angle X-ray difraction. Surface roughness was quantified by atomic force microscopy. The presence of Ge nanocrystals (Ge-NCs) was evidenced by X-ray diffraction. The vibrational properties were studied by Raman spectroscopy. The Raman spectra showed modes associated to germanium indicating the formation of low dimensionality germanium particles embedded within a SiO2 matrix. Photoluminescence emission is observed around ~1.7 eV and it is associated to the quantum confinement of carriers in Ge-NCs. Ohmic contacts were deposited using a van der Pauw geometry employing an a AuSb alloy for the contacts. Temperature dependent Hall (T-Hall) measurements were done between 35 K and 150 K, using the van der Pauw method. The results indicated low resistivity values that could be explained due to some variable range hopping conduction mechanism.