Blocking germanium diffusion inside silicon dioxide using a co-implanted silicon barrier

D. Barba, C. Wang, A. Nélis, G. Terwagne, F. Rosei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the effect of co-implanting a silicon sublayer on the thermal diffusion of germanium ions implanted into SiO2 and the growth of Ge nanocrystals (Ge-ncs). High-resolution imaging obtained by transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy measurements supported by Monte-Carlo calculations shows that the Si-enriched region acts as a diffusion barrier for Ge atoms. This barrier prevents Ge outgassing during thermal annealing at 1100 °C. Both the localization and the reduced size of Ge-ncs formed within the sample region co-implanted with Si are observed, as well as the nucleation of mixed Ge/Si nanocrystals containing structural point defects and stacking faults. Although it was found that the Si co-implantation affects the crystallinity of the formed Ge-ncs, this technique can be implemented to produce size-selective and depth-ordered nanostructured systems by controlling the spatial distribution of diffusing Ge. We illustrate this feature for Ge-ncs embedded within a single SiO2 monolayer, whose diameters were gradually increased from 1 nm to 5 nm over a depth of 100 nm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161540
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2018


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