Growth of high-quality relaxed SiGe films with an intermediate Si layer for strained Si n-MOSFETs

P. S. Chen*, S. W. Lee, M. H. Lee, C. W. Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


An intermediate Si layer in Si1-xGex film, replacing the conventionally compositional graded buffer layer, was used to fabricate a relaxed SiGe substrate of high quality. The intermediate Si layer changes the relaxation mechanism of the SiGe thin film via the generation of {3 1 1} dislocation loops. The {3 1 1} dislocation loops are formed in the intermediate Si layer to prompt a state of relaxation in the SiGe overlayer, provide the defects for trapping of threading dislocations (TDs) and leave a SiGe top layer with low dislocation density. For the SiGe/Si/SiGe samples, the residual strain and TDs on the top SiGe layer are independent of the SiGe underlayer thickness. With a 700 nm thick Si0.8Ge0.2 overlayer, such a Si0.8Ge0.2/Si/Si0.8Ge 0.2 heterostructure with a smooth surface has a TD density of 8.9 × 105 cm-2 and 3% residual strain. Owing to the different main relaxation mechanisms in SiGe films, the surface root mean square roughness of this relaxed buffer with a low density of surface pits was measured to be about 3 nm, which is lower than that of the sample without any intermediate Si layer (13 nm). Relaxation of the SiGe overlayer depends on the thickness of the intermediate Si layer. Optimization on relaxation in the SiGe/Si/SiGe structure with an intermediate Si layer of 50 nm is done. Strained Si n-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors with various buffer layers were fabricated and examined. The effective electron mobility for the strained Si device with this novel substrate technology was found to be 80% higher than that of the Si control device. The SiGe thin films with the intermediate Si layer serve as good candidates for high-speed strained Si devices. The global strain in the Si channel with a SiGe/Si/SiGe buffer is still beneficial for short channel devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-485
Number of pages7
JournalSemiconductor Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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