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Open Access Nano Review

Buffer layer-assisted growth of Ge nanoclusters on Si

AP Li* and JF Wendelken

  • * Corresponding author: AP Li

Author Affiliations

Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, 37831, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2006, 1:11-19  doi:10.1007/s11671-006-9011-y

Published: 26 July 2006

Abstract

In the buffer layer-assisted growth method, a condensed inert gas layer of xenon, with low-surface free energy, is used as a buffer to prevent direct interactions of deposited atoms with substrates. Because of␣an unusually wide applicability, the buffer layer-assisted growth method has provided a unique avenue for creation of nanostructures that are otherwise impossible to grow, and thus offered unprecedented opportunities for fundamental and applied research in nanoscale science and technology. In this article, we review recent progress in the application of the buffer layer-assisted growth method to the fabrication of Ge nanoclusters on Si substrates. In particular, we emphasize the novel configurations of the obtained Ge nanoclusters, which are characterized by the absence of a wetting layer, quasi-zero dimensionality with tunable sizes, and high cluster density in comparison with Ge nanoclusters that are formed with standard Stranski-Krastanov growth methods. The optical emission behaviors are discussed in correlation with the morphological properties.

Keywords:
Nanocluster; Buffer layer-assisted growth; BLAG; Ge nanocluster; Photoluminescence; Semiconductor growth; 61.46.+w; 78.55.Ap; 68.37.Lp; 78.67.Hc