Microstructural changes and fractal Ge nanocrystallites in polycrystalline Au/amorphous Ge thin bilayer films upon annealing

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)4544-4548
Journal / PublicationJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume39
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2006

Abstract

Microstructural changes and fractal Ge nanocrystallites in polycrystalline Au/amorphous Ge thin bilayer films upon annealing have been investigated by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy observations and x-ray energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Experimental results indicated that the microstructure of the metal Au film plays an important role in metal-induced crystallization for Au/Ge thin bilayer films upon annealing. Interestingly, we found the position exchange of Au and Ge films and the formation of the fractal Ge nanocrystallites induced by annealing. EDS microanalysis indicated that although there is lateral interdiffusion of Au and Ge atoms, the thickness of the fractal region and the matrix remain nearly the same. At the same time, EDS shows that there are also Au aggregates extending out of the films. It is suggested that, besides the preferred nucleation at the Au/Ge interface, the breaking of Ge-Ge bonds may stimulate the crystallization of amorphous Ge, so that the crystallization temperature of Au/Ge system is much lower than that of the isolated amorphous Ge system. © 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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