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Title: Self-assembly of tin wires via phase transformation of heteroepitaxial germanium-tin on germanium substrate

This work demonstrates and describes for the first time an unusual strain-relaxation mechanism by the formation and self-assembly of well-ordered tin wires during the thermal annealing of epitaxial Ge{sub 0.83}Sn{sub 0.17}-on-Ge(001) substrate. Fully strained germanium-tin alloys (Ge{sub 0.83}Sn{sub 0.17}) were epitaxially grown on Ge(001) substrate by molecular beam epitaxy. The morphological and compositional evolution of Ge{sub 0.83}Sn{sub 0.17} during thermal annealing is studied by atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy. Under certain annealing conditions, the Ge{sub 0.83}Sn{sub 0.17} layer decomposes into two stable phases, and well-defined Sn wires that are preferentially oriented along two orthogonal 〈100〉 azimuths are formed. The formation of the Sn wires is related to the annealing temperature and the Ge{sub 0.83}Sn{sub 0.17} thickness, and can be explained by the nucleation of a grain with Sn islands on the outer front, followed by grain boundary migration. The Sn wire formation process is found to be thermally activated, and an activation enthalpy (E{sub c}) of 0.41 eV is extracted. This thermally activated phase transformation, i.e., 2D epitaxial layer to 3D wires, occurs via a mechanism akin to “cellular precipitation.” This synthesis route of Sn wires opens new possibilities for creation of nanoscale patterns at high-throughput without themore » need for lithography.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576 (Singapore)
  2. Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117551 (Singapore)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22412935
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 22; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ANNEALING; ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY; ENTHALPY; GERMANIUM BASE ALLOYS; GRAIN BOUNDARIES; LAYERS; MOLECULAR BEAM EPITAXY; NANOSTRUCTURES; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; PRECIPITATION; RELAXATION; STRAINS; SUBSTRATES; TIN ALLOYS; TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; X-RAY DIFFRACTION