van der Waals epitaxy of Ge films on mica

In Journal of Applied Physics


To date, many materials have been successfully grown on substrates through van der Waals epitaxy without adhering to the constraint of lattice matching as is required for traditional chemical epitaxy. However, for elemental semiconductors such as Ge, this has been challenging and therefore it has not been achieved thus far. In this paper, we report the observation of Ge epitaxially grown on mica at a narrow substrate temperature range around 425ā€‰Ā°C. Despite the large lattice mismatch (23%) and the lack of high in-plane symmetry in the mica surface, an epitaxial Ge film with [111] out-of-plane orientation is observed. Crystallinity and electrical properties degrade upon deviation from the ideal growth temperature, as shown by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Hall effect measurements. X-ray pole figure analysis reveals that there exist multiple rotational domains in the epitaxial Ge film with dominant in-plane orientations between Ge[-110] and mica[100] of (20š‘›)Ā°, where nā€‰=ā€‰0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. A superlattice area mismatch model was used to account for the likelihood of the in-plane orientation formation and was found to be qualitatively consistent with the observed dominant orientations. Our observation of Ge epitaxy with one out-of-plane growth direction through van der Waals forces is a step toward the growth of single crystal Ge films without the constraint in the lattice and symmetry matches with the substrates.

Yu Xiang
Yu Xiang
Applied Scientist

PhD in Physics, Applied Scientist.