Self assembled quantum dots of Ge were obtained by magnetron sputter epitaxy of seven monolayers of Ge on a 33nm thick undoped Si buffer grown on top of a p-doped (100) Si substrate. The samples obtained in this manner were then capped with an increasing number of silicon layers in order to study the effect of Si deposition on the strain and the morphology of the dots. They were characterized “ex situ” by spectroscopic ellipsometry and Raman spectroscopy. The optical experiments revealed well defined differences between the capped and uncapped samples and among samples with different cap thicknesses.
By monitoring the energy and the splitting of the E0', E1 and E2 interband optical transitions of Ge and the Ge-Si vibrational mode, the optical measurements evidence strain effects as well as the formation of SiGe alloy, in agreement with the ``in situ'' STM measurements.