Low-temperature deposition of polycrystalline germanium on silicon by magnetron sputtering

Low-temperature deposition of polycrystalline germanium on silicon by magnetron sputtering

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A new method is reported to grow polycrystalline germanium (Ge) on silicon (Si) at low temperatures by direct current magnetron sputtering. The method is based on first sputtering a nanometre scale thickness Si layer on a Si substrate, followed by sputtering a Ge layer of the desired thickness. Using this approach, polycrystalline Ge has been deposited on Si substrate at 300°C, the lowest reported process temperature for polycrystalline Ge on Si by sputter coating. Characterisation by X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy showed polycrystalline Ge in the presence of a Si interfacial layer. In the absence of the interfacial Si layer, amorphous Ge was obtained under the same process conditions. These observations indicate that depositing a Si interfacial layer helps in improving the Ge film quality in low-temperature deposition conditions. The approach developed here makes it possible to achieve post-CMOS integration in applications that have low thermal budget, such as flexible electronics based on Si/Ge devices. The increased process flexibility offered by this method is also expected to enable new applications.


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