Dec 17, 2014

Analysis of the surface state of epi-ready Ge wafers

The surface state of Ge epi-ready wafers (such as those used on III–V multijunction solar cells) supplied by two different vendors has been studied using X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. Our experimental results show that the oxide layer on the wafer surface is formed by GeO and GeO2. This oxide layer thickness differs among wafers coming from different suppliers. Besides, several contaminants appear on the wafer surfaces, carbon and probably chlorine being common to every wafer, irrespective of its origin. Wafers from one of the vendors show the presence of carbonates at their surfaces. On such wafers, traces of potassium seem to be present too.


► Ge epi-ready wafers from two different vendors studied using X-ray spectroscopy. ► Oxide layer on all the Ge wafer surfaces formed by GeO and GeO2; layer thickness depending on wafer vendor. ► Probable presence of chlorine at the wafer surfaces. ► Wafer surfaces from one of the vendors contaminated by carbonates.


Dec 2, 2014

Surface blistering of low temperature annealed hydrogen and helium co-implanted germanium and its application to splitting of bonded wafer substrates

Applications involving transfer of germanium layers to silicon-based substrates often require a process involving a restricted thermal budget. The use of relatively low temperatures has a major advantage in reducing stresses when thermal splitting of implanted germanium wafers bonded to silicon-based substrates is used to create germanium-on-oxide (GeOI) layers. The present study investigates the phenomenon of blistering of hydrogen and helium co-implanted germanium over the temperature range 250–400 °C, optical microscopy being used to detect the initial appearance of the blisters. Results showed that plots of Ln(time) vs. blister initiation temperature consisted of several straight-line regions yielding an activation energy for each region. The plots showed similarities to those observed in previous work with silicon co-implanted and annealed under similar conditions. At temperatures below the blister initiation temperature, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), revealed the presence of spherical bubbles at a depth below the surface estimated to be approximately that of the hydrogen implant projected range. GeOI layers were produced by thermal splitting of co-implanted germanium wafers bonded to oxide-coated silicon substrates wafers at a temperature of 300 °C. The RMS roughness of the split germanium surface measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM) was about 11 nm averaged over the wafer surface. In addition there were isolated and randomly distributed regions of 27 nm roughness covering about 20% of the total surface area of the wafer.