Strain Relaxation of He+ Implanted, Pseudomorphic Si1−xGex Layers on Si(100)


Strain relaxed Si1−xGex buffer layers are of great importance as virtual substrates for Si1−xGex/Si quantum well structures and devices. We apply He+ ion implantation and subsequent annealing on pseudomorphic, MBE-grown Si1−xGex/Si(100) heterostructures with an implantation depth of about 100 nm below the Si1−xGex/Si interface. A narrow defect band is generated inducing the formation of strain relieving misfit dislocations during subsequent thermal annealing. Efficient strain relaxation was demonstrated for Si1−xGex layers with Ge fractions up to 30 at. %. The variation of the implantation dose and the annealing conditions changes the dislocation configuration and the He bubble structure. At a dose of 2×1016 cm−2 a high degree of relaxation is accompanied by a low density of threading dislocations of about 107 cm−2 for a Ge content of 30%. An additional increase of the Ge content can be achieved by annealing in oxygen. The oxidation of Si1−xGex leads to the formation of SiO2 while the Ge atoms are rejected from the oxide leading to a pile-up of Ge below the oxidation front. The heterostructures were analyzed using X-ray diffraction, Rutherford backscattering/channeling spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy.

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Holländer, B., Mantl, S., Lenk, S. et al. Strain Relaxation of He+ Implanted, Pseudomorphic Si1−xGex Layers on Si(100). MRS Online Proceedings Library 696, 317 (2001).

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