Identification of shape transitions in coherent Ge/Si islands using transmission electron microscopy

L. I.U. Chuan-Pu, William L. Henstrom, David G. Cahill, J. Murray Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


As a consequence of strain relaxation, Ge coherent islands on Si(001) substrates evolve to different shapes as islands grow. By measuring the size and the strain simultaneously in a large population of individual islands using two simple and robust plan-view transmission electron microscopy-based techniques, we can identify island shapes easily because island shape is a function of strain. We briefly introduce the mechanisms of these two techniques. We then show that there is a metastable shape of Ge islands involved in the shape transition between pyramids and domes. The strain relaxation changes discontinuously as islands grow from pyramids to the metastable form and then finally to domes indicating that the shape transition between pyramids and domes is first order. We also show that the shape of this metastable island is a truncated dome and the faceted planes are {103}.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2000
EventSelf-Organized Processes in Semiconductor Alloys - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: 1999 Nov 291999 Dec 2

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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