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We have investigated new synthetic methods to Si-Ge-C materials by UHV-CVD and novel chemical precursors. The reactions of (SiH3)4C and (GeH3)4C with GeH4 and SiH4 produce diamond structured materials with the general formula (CSi4)xGey and (CGe4)xSiy respectively. These reactions demonstrate the application of novel C-H free precursors that incorporate Si4C and Ge4C building blocks to prepare single phase materials containing a significant amount of carbon (5–6 at.%). They also indicate the remarkable degree of compositional control provided by the precursor to incorporate the Si4C and Ge4C molecular framework into the solid state. A range of Si1-x-yGexCy compositions were also prepared pseudomorphically on [1 0 0] Si at 450–500 °C via reactions of (SiH3)4C with mixtures of GeH4 and Si4. The (Si2Ge)31C6 composition appears to display ordering of the Ge and Si atoms in the structure. The incorporation of C in the Si planes seems to provide local strain centers which facilitate the formation of this ordered phase.
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