Zn dots are potential solutions for metal contacts in future nanodevices. The metastable states that exist at the interface between Zn quantum dots and oxide-free Si(111) surfaces can suppress the development of the complete relaxation and increase the size of Zn dots. In this work, the actual heat consumption of the structural evolution of Zn dots resulting from extrinsic thermal effect was analyzed. Zn dots were coherently grown on oxide-free Si(111) through magnetron RF sputtering. A compensative optical method combined with reflective second harmonic generation and synchrotron x-ray diffraction (XRD) was developed to statistically analyze the thermal effect on the Zn dot system. Pattern matching (3 m) between the Zn and oxide-free Si(111) surface enabled Si(111) to constrain Zn dots from a liquid to solid phase. Annealing under vacuum induced smaller, loose Zn dots to be reconstrained by Si(111). When the size of the Zn dots was in the margin of complete relaxation, the Zn dot was partially constrained by potential barriers (metastable states) between Zn(111) and one of the six in-planes of Si110. The thermal disturbance exerted by annealing would enable partially constrained ZnO/Zn dots to overcome the potential barrier and be completely relaxed, which is obvious on the transition between Zn(111) and Zn(002) peak in synchrotron XRD. Considering the actual irradiated surface area of dots array in a wide-size distribution, the competition between reconstrained and relaxed Zn dots on Si(111) during annealing was statistically analyzed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering