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Germanium Oxide Removal by Citric Acid and Thiol Passivation from Citric Acid-Terminated Ge(100)

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journal contribution
posted on 02.12.2014, 00:00 by Gillian Collins, Damien Aureau, Justin D. Holmes, Arnaud Etcheberry, Colm O’Dwyer
Many applications of germanium (Ge) are underpinned by effective oxide removal and surface passivation. This important surface treatment step often requires H–X (X = Cl, Br, I) or HF etchants. Here, we show that aqueous citric acid solutions are effective in the removal of GeOx. The stability of citric acid-treated Ge(100) is compared to HF and HCl treated surfaces and analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Further Ge surface passivation was investigated by thiolation using alkane monothiols and dithiols. The organic passivation layers show good stability with no oxide regrowth observed after 3 days of ambient exposure.