The initial stages of germanium heteroepitaxy on vicinal Si(100) have been studied using in-situ deposition in a UHV STEM. Germanium was deposited using molecular beam techniques onto substrates misoriented 1° and 5* toward <110> held at room temperature, 375°C and 525°C. Film thicknesses were in the range 4-6 ML, just greater than the stable intermediate layer of 3-4ML (1ML = 0.14nm). The Ge clusters were observed using biassed secondary electron (b-SE) imaging with nanometer resolution. Comparisons were made between deposition at the elevated temperatures, and room temperature deposition followed by anneals at the same temperatures.
Annealing the low temperature deposits produces coarsening of the islands which is similar on the 1° and 5° samples. Island size distributions and other film growth parameters obtained from the 375°C and 525°C anneals indicate that the coarsening is different at these temperatures and is possibly affected by instabilities in the intermediate layer. Results of the high temperature depositions indicate that neither surface steps nor the edges of islands act as perfect sinks, and that diffusion distances are of the order of several microns. The nucleation density and size distributions are markedly different for deposition at 375°C and 525°C possibly due to competitive capture at strong sinks.
In a parallel set of experiments in a standard UHV chamber, macroscopic wafer samples were analyzed with RHEED, Auger and secondary electron spectroscopy. These correlate well with the intermediate layer thicknesses previously reported in the literature, and the large contrast observed in the b-SE images. Ex situ TEM studies of samples grown in this chamber show islands with various contrast features including those of coherent strain.