Epitaxy of group IV optical materials and synthesis of IV/III-V semiconductor analogs by designer hydride chemistries
The thesis studies new methods to fabricate optoelectronic Ge1-ySny/Si(100) alloys and investigate their photoluminescence (PL) properties for possible applications in Si-based photonics including IR lasers. The work initially investigated the origin of the difference between the PL spectrum of bulk Ge, dominated by indirect gap emission, and the PL spectrum of Ge-on-Si films, dominated by direct gap emission. It was found that the difference is due to the supression of self-absorption effects in Ge films, combined with a deviation from quasi-equilibrium conditions in the conduction band of undoped films. The latter is confirmed by a model suggesting that the deviation is caused by the shorter recombination lifetime in the films relative to bulk Ge. The knowledge acquired from this work was then utilized to study the PL properties of n-type Ge1-ySny/Si (y=0.004-0.04) samples grown via chemical vapor deposition of Ge2H6/SnD4/P(GeH3)3. It was found that the emission intensity (I) of these samples is at least 10x stronger than observed in un-doped counterparts and that the Idir/Iind ratio of direct over indirect gap emission increases for high-Sn contents due to the reduced gamma-L valley separation, as expected. Next the PL investigation was expanded to samples with y=0.05-0.09 grown via a new method using the more reactive Ge3H8 in place of Ge2H6. Optical quality, 1-um thick Ge1-ySny/Si(100) layers were produced using Ge3H10/SnD4 and found to exhibit strong, tunable PL near the threshold of the direct-indirect bandgap crossover. A byproduct of this study was the development of an enhanced process to produce Ge3H8, Ge4H10, and Ge5H12 analogs for application in ultra-low temperature deposition of Group-IV semiconductors. The thesis also studies synthesis routes of an entirely new class of semiconductor compounds and alloys described by Si5-2y(III-V)y (III=Al, V= As, P) comprising of specifically designed diamond-like structures based on a Si parent lattice incorporating isolated III-V units. The common theme of the two thesis topics is the development of new mono-crystalline materials on ubiquitous silicon platforms with the objective of enhancing the optoelectronic performance of Si and Ge semiconductors, potentially leading to the design of next generation optical devices including lasers, detectors and solar cells.