Nanoscale elemental quantification in heterostructured SiGe nanowires†
The nanoscale chemical characterization of axial heterostructured Si1−xGex nanowires (NWs) has been performed using scanning Auger microscopy (SAM) through local spectroscopy, line-scan and depth profile measurements. Local Auger profiles are realized with sufficient lateral resolution to resolve individual nanowires. Axial and radial composition heterogeneities are highlighted. Our results confirm the phenomenon of Ge radial growth forming a Ge shell around the nanowire. Moreover, quantification is performed after verifying the absence of preferential sputtering of Si or Ge on a bulk SiGe sample. Hence, reliable results are obtained for heterostructured NW diameters higher than 100 nm. However, for smaller sizes, we have noticed that the sensitivity factors evaluated from bulk samples cannot be used because of edge effects occurring for highly topographical features and a modified contribution of backscattered electrons.