Low temperature plasma enhanced CVD epitaxial growth of silicon on GaAs: a new paradigm for III-V/Si integration
The integration of III-V semiconductors with silicon is a key issue for photonics, microelectronics and photovoltaics. With the standard approach, namely the epitaxial growth of III-V on silicon, thick and complex buffer layers are required to limit the crystalline defects caused by the interface polarity issues, the thermal expansion, and lattice mismatches. To overcome these problems, we have developed a reverse and innovative approach to combine III-V and silicon: the straightforward epitaxial growth of silicon on GaAs at low temperature by plasma enhanced CVD (PECVD). Indeed we show that both GaAs surface cleaning by SiF4 plasma and subsequent epitaxial growth from SiH4/H2 precursors can be achieved at 175 °C. The GaAs native oxide etching is monitored with in-situ spectroscopic ellipsometry and Raman spectroscopy is used to assess the epitaxial silicon quality. We found that SiH4 dilution in hydrogen during deposition controls the layer structure: the epitaxial growth happens for deposition conditions at the transition between the microcrystalline and amorphous growth regimes. SIMS and STEM-HAADF bring evidences for the interface chemical sharpness. Together, TEM and XRD analysis demonstrate that PECVD enables the growth of high quality relaxed single crystal silicon on GaAs.