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Overlayer stress effects on defect formation in Si and Ge
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Professor Nick Cowern
Dr Nick Bennett
Dr Chihak Ahn
Dr Joo Chul Yoon
Cowern NEB, Bennett NS, Ahn C, Yoon JC, Hamm S, Lerch W, Kheyrandish H, Cristiano F, Pakfar A
Thin Solid Films
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Point-defect formation energies in bulk crystalline materials such as Si and Ge are material specific quantities defined for the case of formation at a free surface, but in many cases of technological interest, point defects are formed at the interface between the crystalline substrate and a strained material overlayer. Here the energy cost of generating a bulk point defect at the overlayer/substrate interface is modified by the stress interaction during defect formation, leading to an effective supersaturation or undersaturation in the bulk, relative to the ‘equilibrium’ concentration expected for the case of a free surface. This in turn impacts on diffusion, defect formation and activation of dopant impurities in the substrate. We present current experimental evidence for this phenomenon, based on studies of B diffusion under tensile-strained nitride layers, and discuss the likely implications for dopant activation in Si and Ge.
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