Investigation of the thermal stability of metastable GeSn epitaxial layers
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A stack of five elastically strained metastable GeSn layers with a thickness of 200 nm each separated by Ge spacer layers with a thickness of 20 nm is grown on a (001) Si/Ge virtual substrate. The molar fraction of Sn in the GeSn layers is 0.005, 0.034, 0.047, 0.072, and 0.10. After growth the structure is subjected to thermal annealing for 2 min at a temperature of 400°C. It is demonstrated that during the course of annealing the GeSn alloy, along with plastic relaxation, undergoes phase separation; this phase separation begins before the end of plastic relaxation. The structural degradation of the GeSn layers increases with increasing concentration of Sn accumulated on the structure surface in the form of an amorphous layer.
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