Concurrent Characterization of Surface Diffusion and Intermixing of Ge on Si: A Classical Molecular Dynamics Study

L Martín-Encinar and LA Marqués and I Santos and P López and L Pelaz, ADVANCED THEORY AND SIMULATIONS, 6 (2023).

DOI: 10.1002/adts.202200848

The surface diffusion and intermixing of Ge ad-atoms over Si (001) 2 x 1 substrates using classical molecular dynamics (CMD) simulations are characterized here. Several interatomic potentials, parametrizations, and parameter mixing rules are contemplated. A novel simulation scheme is devised to characterize the effective frequency of surface diffusion and intermixing events overcoming the inherent difficulties related to their interdependency in heteroepitaxial systems. The effective energy barriers of these events encompass different atomistic mechanisms weighted by their occurrence probabilities. The overall description of surface diffusion and intermixing based on Stillinger-Weber (SW) potential is in agreement with ab initio calculations and experimental observations, though some atomistic details differ. This study is extended to Si(001) substrates with stressed Ge monolayers grown on top. It is found that Ge ad-atom dynamics is accelerated with respect to the case of the pure Si substrate and that diffusion across dimer rows is mainly mediated by the atomic exchange of the Ge ad-atom with a Ge atom on the surface.

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