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Heteroepitaxy on (001) Silicon: Growth Mechanisms and Defect Formation.

  • P. Pirouz (a1), F. Ernst (a1) and T. T. Cheng (a1)


In the growth of thin films of compound semiconductors on (001) silicon substrates by vapor deposition techniques, it is usual to employ a two-step process. In this method, an initial (buffer) layer is first grown at a relatively low temperature; once a continuous film has formed on the substrate, its temperature is raised for the subsequent bulk growth. Carrying out the growth in a one-step process by heating the substrate to the final temperature before allowing the gases into the CVD reactor usually results in a polycrystalline aggregate. In this paper, classical nucleation and growth mechanisms are used to explain-the reasons for the different morphology of the one-step and two-step growth films.

The heteroepitaxial films on (001) silicon often contain a high density of stacking faults and twins. The occurrence of these planar defects is usually attributed to stresses that arise from lattice mismatch and/or thermal mismatch (differences in coefficients of thermal expansion) between the substrate and the epilayer. It is argued that, in fact, mismatch stresses play a minor role in the generation of planar defects. Instead, an alternative mechanism for their formation is proposed which is based on the facetted shape of nuclei and errors in stacking of {111} planes which occur during deposition on the facets.

Conventional and high resolution transmission electron microscopy have been used to investigate three systems grown by CVD or MOCVD: SiC/Si, GaAs/Si and GaP/Si. These systems have different lattice and thermal mismatches, and the results support the proposed model for the formation of defects.



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Heteroepitaxy on (001) Silicon: Growth Mechanisms and Defect Formation.

  • P. Pirouz (a1), F. Ernst (a1) and T. T. Cheng (a1)


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