Nano Express

Nanoscale Research Letters

, Volume 4, Issue 9, pp 1073-1077

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Alloying and Strain Relaxation in SiGe Islands Grown on Pit-Patterned Si(001) Substrates Probed by Nanotomography

  • F. PezzoliAffiliated withInstitute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden Email author 
  • , M. StoffelAffiliated withInstitute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW DresdenInstitut für Halbleitertechnik
  • , T. MerdzhanovaAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung
  • , A. RastelliAffiliated withInstitute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden
  • , O. G. SchmidtAffiliated withInstitute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden


The three-dimensional composition profiles of individual SiGe/Si(001) islands grown on planar and pit-patterned substrates are determined by atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based nanotomography. The observed differences in lateral and vertical composition gradients are correlated with the island morphology. This approach allowed us to employ AFM to simultaneously gather information on the composition and strain of SiGe islands. Our quantitative analysis demonstrates that for islands with a fixed aspect ratio, a modified geometry of the substrate provides an enhancement of the relaxation, finally leading to a reduced intermixing.


SiGe Island Alloying Wet etching Tomography AFM Lateral ordering