Size-tunable strain engineering in Ge nanocrystals embedded within SiO2 and Si3N4

P. H. Liao*, T. C. Hsu, K. H. Chen, T. H. Cheng, T. M. Hsu, C. C. Wang, T. George, Pei-Wen Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We report a unique ability to control the sign and size of the stress within Ge nanocrystals or nanodots fabricated using a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor-compatible process within SiO2 and Si3N4 layers. Very large (as much as 4.5%), size-dependent compressive and tensile strains can be generated depending on whether the dot is embedded within either a Si3N4 or a SiO2 layer. Raman measurements reveal significant anharmonicity for smaller Ge dots and possible distortions of the diamond cubic lattice as evidenced by the measured Grünesien parameters and confirmed by their transmission electron diffraction patterns. Two completely different mechanisms are proposed to explain the formation of the tensile and compressive strain states, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number172106
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - 27 Oct 2014

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