Substitutional incorporation of Sn in compressively strained thin films of heavily-alloyed Ge1 - xSn x /Ge semiconductor probed by x-ray absorption and diffraction methods
Short-range-order and long-range-order structures in Ge1 - xSn x /Ge thin films grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) were investigated by using extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques, respectively. These materials are of great potential for constructing efficient optoelectronic devices. The EXAFS analysis demonstrates that Sn atoms occupy Ge sites in these thin-film samples with Sn concentration up to 20 at.%. The Ge-Sn bonds expected in the substitutional model were also observed in Raman spectra of these samples. The XRD results show that, in the out-of-plane direction, the lattice constants of the films are distinctly larger than that of the Ge substrates. However, such increased lattice parameters were not observed in the in-plane direction. Our x-ray and Raman results have clearly revealed substitutional incorporation of Sn with high concentration in dislocation-free MBE-grown Ge films of practical-device thickness.