Silicon germanium (SiGe) virtual substrates of final germanium composition x = 0.50 have been fabricated using solid-source molecular beam epitaxy with a thickness of 2 µm. A layer structure that helps limit the size of dislocation pileups associated with the modified Frank–Read dislocation multiplication mechanism has been studied. It is shown that this structure can produce lower threading dislocation densities than conventional linearly graded virtual substrates. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy shows the superior quality of the dislocation network in the graded regions with a lower rms roughness shown by atomic force microscopy. X-ray diffractometry shows these layers to be highly relaxed. This method of Ge grading suggests that high-quality virtual substrates can be grown considerably thinner than with conventional grading methods
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