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Formation of uniform high-density and small-size Ge/Si quantum dots by scanning pulsed laser annealing of pre-deposited Ge/Si film
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The capability to fabricate Ge/Si quantum dots with small dot size and high dot density uniformly over a large area is crucial for many applications. In this work, we demonstrate that this can be achieved by scanning a pre-deposited Ge thin layer on Si substrate with a line-focused pulsed laser beam to induce formation of quantum dots. With suitable setting, Ge/Si quantum dots with a mean height of 2.9 nm, a mean diameter of 25 nm, and a dot density of 6×1010 cm−2 could be formed over an area larger than 4 mm2. The average size of the laser-induced quantum dots is smaller while their density is higher than that of quantum dots grown by using Stranski-Krastanov growth mode. Based on the dependence of the characteristics of quantum dots on the laser parameters, a model consisting of laser-induced strain, surface diffusion, and Ostwald ripening is proposed for the mechanism underlying the formation of the Ge/Si quantum dots. The technique demonstrated could be applicable to other materials besides Ge/Si.
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