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Formation of Ge-Sn nanodots on Si(100) surfaces by molecular beam epitaxy

Vladimir Mashanov1*, Vladimir Ulyanov1, Vyacheslav Timofeev1, Aleksandr Nikiforov1, Oleg Pchelyakov1, Ing-Song Yu2 and Henry Cheng2

Author Affiliations

1 A.V. Rzhanov Institute of Semiconductor Physics SB RAS, Lavrentyev Avenue, 13, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia

2 Center for Condensed Matter Sciences and Graduate Institute of Electronic Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 106, Taiwan, R.O.C

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:85  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-85

Published: 12 January 2011


The surface morphology of Ge0.96Sn0.04/Si(100) heterostructures grown at temperatures from 250 to 450°C by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunnel microscopy (STM) ex situ has been studied. The statistical data for the density of Ge0.96Sn0.04 nanodots (ND) depending on their lateral size have been obtained. Maximum density of ND (6 × 1011 cm-2) with the average lateral size of 7 nm can be obtained at 250°C. Relying on the reflection of high energy electron diffraction, AFM, and STM, it is concluded that molecular beam growth of Ge1-xSnx heterostructures with the small concentrations of Sn in the range of substrate temperatures from 250 to 450°C follows the Stranski-Krastanow mechanism. Based on the technique of recording diffractometry of high energy electrons during the process of epitaxy, the wetting layer thickness of Ge0.96Sn0.04 films is found to depend on the temperature of the substrate.