The influence of lateral dimensions on the relaxation and surface topography of linearly graded Si1 – xGex buffer layers has been investigated. A dramatic change in the relaxation mechanism has been observed for depositions on Si mesa pillars of lateral dimensions 10 µm and below. Misfit dislocations are able to extend unhindered and terminate at the edges of the growth zone, yielding a surface free of cross-hatch. For lateral dimensions in excess of 10 µm orthogonal misfit interactions occur and relaxation is dominated by the modified Frank–Read (MFR) mechanism. The stress fields associated with the MFR dislocation pile-ups result in a pronounced cross-hatch topography
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