Surface Science

Investigating the lateral motion of SiGe islands by selective chemical etching

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SiGe islands grown by deposition of 10 monolayers of Ge on Si(0 0 1) at 740 °C were investigated by using a combination of selective wet chemical etching and atomic force microscopy. The used etchant, a solution consisting of ammonium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide, shows a high selectivity of Ge over SixGe1-x and is characterized by relatively slow etching rates for Si-rich alloys. By performing successive etching experiments on the same sample area, we are able to gain a deeper insight into the lateral displacement the islands undergo during post growth annealing. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.