Evolution of Ge wetting layers growing on smooth and rough Si (001) surfaces: isolated {105} facets as a kinetic factor of stress relaxation

20 July 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The results of STM and RHEED studies of a thin Ge film grown on the Si/Si(001) epitaxial layers with different surface relief are presented. Process of the partial stress relaxation was accompanied by changes in the surface structure of the Ge wetting layer. Besides the well-known sequence of surface reconstructions (2 × 1 → 2 × N → M × N patches) and hut-clusters faceted with {105} planes, the formation of isolated {105} planes, which faceted the edges of M × N patches, has been observed owing to the deposition of Ge on a rough Si/Si (001) surface. A model of the isolated {105} facet formation has been proposed based on the assumption that the mutual arrangement of the monoatomic steps on the initial Si surface promotes the wetting layer formation with the inhomogeneously distributed thickness that results in the appearance of M × N patches partially surrounded by deeper trenches than those observed in the usual Ge wetting layer grown on the smooth Si(001) surface. Isolated {105} facets are an inherent part of the Ge wetting layer structure and their formation decreases the surface energy of the Ge wetting layer.


wetting layer
surface energy
quantum dot
scanning tunneling microscopy


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