Self-Organized Formation of Ge nanocrystals out of (GeOx-SiO2) superlattice structures

Self-Organized Formation of Ge nanocrystals out of (GeOx-SiO2) superlattice structures

Zschintzsch, M.; Jeutter, N.; Mücklich, A.; von Borany, J.; Sahle, C.

Bandgap engineered Si and Ge nanocrystal solar cells are supposed to be a candidate for high effective 3rd generation thin film solar cells. Photoluminescence studies of the quantum confinement effect in Si and Ge nanocrystals showed the feasibility of this approach [1,2]. However the design and the fabrication of a high density of well separated, monodispersed nanoclusters remains a great challenge.
We want to present our investigations [3] on Ge nanocrystals formation in GeOx-SiO2 multilayer structures based on the phase separation of GeOx during annealing. The size of the laterally self-ordered Ge nanocrystals is vertically limited by the SiO2 separation layer. The final goal is to achieve well confined, graded, equally sized and dense nanocrystal superlattices only by the variation of the layer thicknesses and the oxygen content in the GeOx layer.
The GeOx-SiO2 stacks were deposited via reactive DC magnetron sputtering. A process window for the oxygen partial pressure in the O2/Ar sputtering gas mixture can be defined which allows both, SiO2 formation for the separation layers as well as GeOx films with tunable stoichiometry in the range of x = 0.2 … 2.
In-situ X-ray studies at synchrotron beamlines were performed to monitor the phase separation (XANES) of GeOx and the Ge nanocrystal formation (GIXRD, XRR, GISAXS) which was proofed in addition via TEM, Raman scattering and Absorbance.
Separated Ge nanocrystals of 2 … 6 nm in size can be formed at temperatures < 600°C. Very smooth interfaces with roughnesses below 1 nm allowed the separation of the Ge nanocrystal layers by SiO2 films < 2 nm which enables interesting possibilities for charge transport via tunnelling.
[1] G. Conibeer et al. TSF 511-512, 654 (2006)
[2] Y. M. Niquet et al. APL 77, 1182 (2000)
[3] M. Zschintzsch et al. JAP, 107, 0343061 - 8 (2010)

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Publ.-Id: 14731