Nanoscale growth of a Sn-guided SiGeSn alloy on Si (111) substrates by molecular beam epitaxy†
Here, SiGeSn nanostructures were grown via molecular beam epitaxy on a Si (111) substrate with the assistance of Sn droplets. Owing to the thermal effect and the compressive strain induced by a lattice mismatch, Si and Sn atoms were successfully incorporated into the Ge matrix during the Sn-guided Ge deposition process. A low growth temperature of 350 °C produced a variety of SiGeSn nanostructures of different sizes, attributed to the variation of the initial Sn droplet size. Using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, the Sn, Si and Ge contents of a defect-free SiGeSn nanoisland were approximately determined to be 0.05, 0.09 and 0.86, respectively. Furthermore, as the growth temperature increased past 600 °C, the growth direction of the nanostructure was changed thermally from out-of-plane to in-plane. Meanwhile, the stacked SiGeSn nanowires grown along the 〈112〉 direction remained defect-free, though some threading dislocations were observed in the smooth SiGeSn nanowires along the 〈110〉 direction. These results offer a novel method to grow Si-based SiGeSn nanostructures while possessing important implications for fabricating further optoelectronic devices.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nanoscale Advances HOT Article Collection