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Keywords:

  • nanostructuring;
  • silicon germanium;
  • thermal oxidation;
  • thin films

Abstract

In order to evaluate the role of Ge as a catalyst or inhibitor for the oxidation process in SiGe, oxidation rates for sub-100-nm films of SiGe are examined and compared to previous reports and established models for Si oxidation. Values for the Ge concentration in the pile-up layer at the oxidation interface are considered as well as the more traditional approach of considering the Ge content in the as-grown SiGe film. The experimental results presented here indicate that oxidation rates for SiGe closely match those of Si and provide evidence that the presence of Ge in very thin films of SiGe does not lead to enhanced or retarded oxidation rates as compared to Si. This comparative analysis is performed with a focus on oxidation of epitaxial thin films of Si1−xGex in dry O2 at 1 atm at 800, 850, 900, 950, and 1000 °C.