The organization of Ge ‘dome’ islands in Ge/Si multilayers has been investigated by cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. Ge ‘domes’ are found to spontaneously arrange in oblique stacks, replicating at a well-defined angle from one bilayer to the next. The formation of oblique island stacks is governed by a complex interplay of surface strain - generated by the already buried islands - and surface curvature - caused by the inherent tendency of large ‘domes’ to carve out material from the surrounding planar substrate.
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Sutter, P., Sutter, E. & Vescan, L. Oblique Stacking of Three-Dimensional Dome Islands in Ge/Si Multilayers. MRS Online Proceedings Library 648, 84 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-648-P8.4