Reverse epitaxy on Ge surfaces

Reverse epitaxy on Ge surfaces

Ou, X.; Keller, A.; Helm, M.; Fassbender, J.; Facsko, S.

Arrays of semiconductor nanostructures have the potential for nanoelectronic and optoelectronic applications. Besides the conventional low efficiency lithographic techniques broad ion beam irradiation is a simple and mass productive technique to fabricate nanostructure patterns on semiconductor surfaces.[1] Based on a “self-organized” erosion process, periodic ripple, hole, or dot arrays can be produced on various semiconductor surfaces.
However, the main drawback of this method is that the irradiated semiconductor surfaces are amorphized. [1, 2] For device fabrication, a crystalline surface of high quality is indispensable. In this work we report the recent discovery of single crystal Ge nanopattern formation based on a “reverse epitaxy” process.[3] The low energy ion irradiation is performed in a defined temperature window. Vacancies created during ion beam irradiation distribute according to the crystallographic anisotropy, which results in an orientation-dependent pattern formation on single crystal Ge surface. This process shows nicely the equivalence of epitaxy with deposited adatoms and “reverse epitaxy” with ion induced surface vacancies on semiconductors. The formation of these patterns is interpreted as the result of a surface instability due to an Ehrlich-Schwoebel barrier for ion induced surface vacancies. The simulation of the pattern formation is performed by a continuum equation accounting for the effective surface currents.
The formation mechanism of these patterns is quite general and can be extended to other semiconductors, e.g. Si and compound semiconductors. Thus our work establishes an entirely new and complementary epitaxial method for the fabrication of high-quality faceted semiconductor nanostructures. A physical model for nanopatterning of crystalline semiconductor surfaces with ion beam irradiation will be demonstrated based on comparison between experimental results and computer simulations.

[1] Stefan Facsko et al., Science 285, 1551 (1999).
[2] Xin Ou et al., AIP Advances, 1, 042174 (2011).
[3] Xin Ou et al., Physical Review Letters 111, 016101 (2013).

Keywords: Ge and ion irradiation

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Publ.-Id: 21328