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Nanotechnology. 2011 Apr 8;22(14):145604. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/22/14/145604. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Preparation of the Ge(001) surface towards fabrication of atomic-scale germanium devices.

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1
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

Abstract

We demonstrate the preparation of a clean Ge(001) surface with minimal roughness (RMS ~0.6 Å), low defect densities (~0.2% ML) and wide mono-atomic terraces (~80-100 nm). We use an ex situ wet chemical process combined with an in situ anneal treatment followed by a homoepitaxial buffer layer grown by molecular beam epitaxy and a subsequent final thermal anneal. Using scanning tunneling microscopy, we investigate the effect on the surface morphology of using different chemical reagents, concentrations as well as substrate temperature during growth. Such a high quality Ge(001) surface enables the formation of defect-free H-terminated Ge surfaces for subsequent patterning of atomic-scale devices by scanning tunneling lithography. We have achieved atomic-scale dangling bond wire structures 1.6 nm wide and 40 nm long as well as large, micron-size patterns with clear contrast of lithography in STM images.

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