Multilayers of hydrogenated ultrathin (3 nm) amorphous a-Si and a-Ge layers prepared by sputtering have been studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to check the influence of annealing on their structural stability. The annealed multilayers exhibit surface and bulk degradation with formation of bumps and craters whose density and size increase with increasing hydrogen content and/or annealing temperature and time. Bumps are due to the formation of H2 bubbles in the multilayer. The craters are bumps blown up very likely because of too high a gas pressure inside. The release of H from its bonds to Si and Ge occurs within cavities very likely present in the samples. The necessary energy is supplied by the heat treatment and by the recombination of thermally generated carriers. Results by energy filtered TEM on the interdiffusion of Si and Ge upon annealing are also presented.
- Amorphous Si/Ge
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering