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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Jul 5;111(1):016101. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Reverse epitaxy of Ge: ordered and faceted surface patterns.

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  • 1Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Bautzner Landstrasse 400, 01328 Dresden, Germany.


Normal incidence ion irradiation at elevated temperatures, when amorphization is prevented, induces novel nanoscale patterns of crystalline structures on elemental semiconductors by a reverse epitaxial growth mechanism: on Ge surfaces irradiation at temperatures above the recrystallization temperature of 250 °C leads to self-organized patterns of inverse pyramids. Checkerboard patterns with fourfold symmetry evolve on the Ge (100) surface, whereas on the Ge (111) surface, isotropic patterns with a sixfold symmetry emerge. After high-fluence irradiations, these patterns exhibit well-developed facets. A deterministic nonlinear continuum equation accounting for the effective surface currents due to an Ehrlich-Schwoebel barrier for diffusing vacancies reproduces remarkably well our experimental observations.

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