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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2011 Sep;11(9):7974-81.

Remote plasma enhanced chemical deposition of non-crystalline GeO2 on Ge and Si substrates.

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Department of Physics, North Carolina State University, 27695-8202, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Non-crystalline GeO2 films remote were plasma deposited at 300 degrees C onto Ge substrates after a final rinse in NH4OH. The reactant precursors gas were: (i) down-stream injected 2% GeH4 in He as the Ge precursor, and (ii) up-stream, plasma excited O2-He mixtures as the O precursor. Films annealed at 400 degrees C displayed no evidence for loss of O resulting in Ge sub-oxide formation, and for a 5-6 eV mid-gap absorption associated with formation of GeOx suboxide bonding, x < 2. These films were stable in normal laboratory ambients with no evidence for reaction with atmospheric water. Films deposited on Ge and annealed at 600 degrees C and 700 degrees C display spectra indicative of loss of O-atoms, accompanied with a 5.5 eV absorption. X-ray absorption spectroscopy and many-electron theory are combined to describe symmetries and degeneracies for O-vacancy bonding defects. These include comparisons with remote plasma-deposited non-crystalline SiO2 on Si substrates with SiON interfacial layers. Three different properties of remote plasma GeO2 films are addressed comparisons between (i) conduction band and band edge states of GeO2 and SiO2, and (ii) electronic structure of O-atom vacancy defects in GeO2 and SiO2, and differences between (iii) annealing of GeO2 films on Ge substrates, and Si substrates passivated with SiON interfacial transition regions important for device applications.

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