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.
|Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
|Published - Feb 2023