The amazing world of self-organized Ge quantum dots for Si photonics on SiN platforms

Po Yu Hong, Chin Hsuan Lin, I. Hsiang Wang, Yu Ju Chiu, Bing Ju Lee, Jiun Chi Kao, Chun Hao Huang, Horng Chih Lin, Thomas George, Pei Wen Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Beginning with our exciting discovery of germanium (Ge) spherical quantum-dot (QD) formation via the peculiar and symbiotic interactions of Si, Ge, and O interstitials, we have embarked on a journey of vigorous exploration, creating unique configurations of self-organized Ge-QDs/Si-containing layers. Our aim is to generate advanced Ge-QD photonic devices, while using standard, mainstream Si processing techniques. This paper summarizes our portfolio of innovative Ge-QD configurations. With emphasis on both controllability and repeatability, we have fabricated size-tunable, spherical Ge-QDs that are placed at predetermined spatial locations within Si-containing layers (SiO2, Si3N4, and Si) using a coordinated combination of lithographic patterning and self-assembled growth. We have successfully exploited the multi-dimensional, parameter spaces of process conditions in combination with layout designs to achieve exquisite control available through the thermal oxidation of lithographically patterned, poly-Si1 − xGex structures in close proximity with Si3N4/Si layers. In so doing, we have gained insight into the growth kinetics and formation mechanisms of self-organized, Ge spherical QDs embedded within SiO2, Si3N4, and Si layers, respectively. Our Ge-QD configurations have opened up a myriad of process/integration possibilities including top-to-bottom evanescent-wave coupling structures for SiN-waveguided Ge-QD photodetectors and Ge-QD light emitters for Si photonics within Si3N4 integrated photonics platforms for on-chip interconnects and sensing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Germanium
  • Photonics
  • Quantum-dot
  • Self-assemble


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