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Microstructuring to Improve the Thermal Stability of GeSn Layers

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journal contribution
posted on 05.05.2022, 14:03 authored by Valentina Bonino, Nicolas Pauc, Vincent Calvo, Marvin Frauenrath, Jean-Michel Hartmann, Alexei Chelnokov, Vincent Reboud, Martin Rosenthal, Jaime Segura-Ruiz
Tin segregation in Ge1–xSnx alloys is one of the major problems potentially hindering the use of this material in devices. Ge1–xSnx microdisks fabricated from layers with Sn concentrations up to 16.9% underwent here annealing at temperatures as high as 400 °C for 20 min without Sn segregation, in contrast with the full segregation observed in the corresponding blanket layers annealed simultaneously. After annealing, no changes in the elemental composition of the microdisks were evidenced. An enhancement of the total integrated photoluminescence, with no modifications of the emission energy, was also observed. These findings show that microstructuring offers a completely new path in maintaining the stability of high Sn concentration Ge1–xSnx layers at temperatures much higher than those used for growth. This approach enables the use of thermal annealing processes to improve the properties of this alloy in optoelectronic devices (such as light emitting diodes, lasers, photodetectors, or modulators). It should also facilitate the integration of Ge1–xSnx into well-established technologies requiring medium temperature processes. The same strategy may help to prevent Sn segregation during high temperature processes in similar metastable alloys.