Towards a controlled growth of self-assembled nanostructures: shaping, ordering and localization in Ge/Si heteroepitaxy.
Persichetti, Luca, Capasso, Andrea, Sgarlata, Anna, Fanfoni, Massimo, Motta, Nunzio, & Balzarotti, Adalberto (2012) Towards a controlled growth of self-assembled nanostructures: shaping, ordering and localization in Ge/Si heteroepitaxy. In Bellucci, Stefano (Ed.) Self-Assembly of Nanostructures. Springer, New York, pp. 201-263.
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The strain-induced self-assembly of suitable semiconductor pairs is an attractive natural route to nanofabrication. To bring to fruition their full potential for actual applications, individual nanostructures need to be combined into ordered patterns in which the location of each single unit is coupled with others and the surrounding environment. Within the Ge/Si model system, we analyze a number of examples of bottom-up strategies in which the shape, positioning, and actual growth mode of epitaxial nanostructures are tailored by manipulating the intrinsic physical processes of heteroepitaxy. The possibility of controlling elastic interactions and, hence, the configuration of self-assembled quantum dots by modulating surface orientation with the miscut angle is discussed. We focus on the use of atomic steps and step bunching as natural templates for nanodot clustering. Then, we consider several different patterning techniques which allow one to harness the natural self-organization dynamics of the system, such as: scanning tunneling nanolithography, focused ion beam and nanoindentation patterning. By analyzing the evolution of the dot assembly by scanning probe microscopy, we follow the pathway which leads to lateral ordering, discussing the thermodynamic and kinetic effects involved in selective nucleation on patterned substrates.
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