Role of surface instability and anisotropy in strain relaxation of epitaxial SiGe on Si (110)

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We report on the morphological evolution of strained, low-mismatch Si0.67Ge0.33 and Si0.75Ge0.25 films on Si (110), covering both the elastic and early stages of plastic relaxation during growth. It is seen that three-dimensional island formation is suppressed at 650 and 700deg;C on the Si (110) surface, unlike on the Si (100) surface under the same growth conditions. Instead, a high density of ledges oriented along an elastically hard 〈111〉 direction, and a very low density of nanowires oriented along the single in-plane 〈110〈 azimuth are observed. Continued growth leads to the formation of misfit defects oriented along the 〈110〉 direction and disappearance of the nanowires. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.

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Journal of Applied Physics