Characterization of strain in Si1 - xGex/Si Multilayers and superlattices grown by molecular beam epitaxy

G.F.A van de Walle, C.W. Fredriksz, A.A. van Gorkum, R.A. van den Heuvel, C.W.T. Bulle-Lieuwma, L.J. van IJzendoorn

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A series of strained Si1 - xGex/Si multilayers and superlattices with varying composition x (0.07 < x < 0.33) and layer thicknesses h (5 nm < h < 50 nm) has been grown on Si(100) by Si molecular beam epitaxy both below and above the critical thickness for the formation of misfit dislocations. The structures were characterized with high resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). RBS measurements indicated good crystalline quality of the Si1 - xGex. The (100) minimum yield χmin was typically 2.6% for the Si and 3.0% for the Ge in the Si1 - xGex. The lattice constants of the tetragonally distorted Si1 - xGex were measured using HRXRD and TEM. These measurements proved that the in-plane lattice constant of Si1 - xGex was equal to that of Si, indicating epitaxial growth. Very large values of the tetragonal strain, up to 2.1% as derived from HRXRD, were measured. RBS ion channelling measurements on the multilayer structures revealed a large influence of the unstrained Si capping layer on the angular position of the Si1 - xGex channelling minimum. The observed strain behaviour as a function of Ge composition could be described by linear elasticity theory. For high Ge concentration, strain relaxation resulted from the generation of misfit dislocations, as was confirmed by plan-view TEM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-155
Number of pages15
JournalPhilips Journal of Research
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • germanium
  • lattice constant
  • misfit dislocations
  • molecular beam epitaxy
  • multilayers
  • silicon
  • strain
  • superlattices


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