Selective amorphization of SiGe in Si/SiGe nanostructures via high energy Si plus implant

EM Turner and Q Campbell and I Avci and WJ Weber and P Lu and GT Wang and KS Jones, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 132, 034301 (2022).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0094185

The selective amorphization of SiGe in Si/SiGe nanostructures via a 1 MeV Si+ implant was investigated, resulting in single-crystal Si nanowires (NWs) and quantum dots (QDs) encapsulated in amorphous SiGe fins and pillars, respectively. The Si NWs and QDs are formed during high-temperature dry oxidation of single-crystal Si/SiGe heterostructure fins and pillars, during which Ge diffuses along the nanostructure sidewalls and encapsulates the Si layers. The fins and pillars were then subjected to a 3 x 10(15) ions/cm(2) 1 MeV Si+ implant, resulting in the amorphization of SiGe, while leaving the encapsulated Si crystalline for larger, 65-nm wide NWs and QDs. Interestingly, the 26-nm diameter Si QDs amorphize, while the 28-nm wide NWs remain crystalline during the same high energy ion implant. This result suggests that the Si/SiGe pillars have a lower threshold for Si-induced amorphization compared to their Si/SiGe fin counterparts. However, Monte Carlo simulations of ion implantation into the Si/SiGe nanostructures reveal similar predicted levels of displacements per cm(3). Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the total stress magnitude in Si QDs encapsulated in crystalline SiGe is higher than the total stress magnitude in Si NWs, which may lead to greater crystalline instability in the QDs during ion implant. The potential lower amorphization threshold of QDs compared to NWs is of special importance to applications that require robust QD devices in a variety of radiation environments.

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