Epitaxial Growth of Perovskite Strontium Titanate on Germanium via Atomic Layer Deposition.

by Lin EL, Edmondson BI, Hu S, Ekerdt JG

J Vis Exp. 2016 Jul 26;(113). doi: 10.3791/54268.

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a commercially utilized deposition method for electronic materials. ALD growth of thin films offers thickness control and conformality by taking advantage of self-limiting reactions between vapor-phase precursors and the growing film. Perovskite oxides present potential for next-generation electronic materials, but to-date have mostly been deposited by physical methods. This work outlines a method for depositing SrTiO3 (STO) on germanium using ALD. Germanium has higher carrier mobilities than silicon and therefore offers an alternative semiconductor material with faster device operation. This method takes advantage of the instability of germanium’s native oxide by using thermal deoxidation to clean and reconstruct the Ge (001) surface to the 2×1 structure. 2-nm thick, amorphous STO is then deposited by ALD. The STO film is annealed under ultra-high vacuum and crystallizes on the reconstructed Ge surface. Reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) is used during this annealing step to monitor the STO crystallization. The thin, crystalline layer of STO acts as a template for subsequent growth of STO that is crystalline as-grown, as confirmed by RHEED. In situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is used to verify film stoichiometry before and after the annealing step, as well as after subsequent STO growth. This procedure provides framework for additional perovskite oxides to be deposited on semiconductors via chemical methods in addition to the integration of more sophisticated heterostructures already achievable by physical methods.

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