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Current Topics in Crystal Growth Research   Volumes    Volume 7 
Synthesis and physical properties of Ge1-xSnx alloys
M. A. Vidal, H. Pérez Ladrón de Guevara, A. G. Rodríguez, H. Navarro-Contreas
Pages: 47 - 57
Number of pages: 11
Current Topics in Crystal Growth Research
Volume 7 

Copyright © 2004 Research Trends. All rights reserved


The metastable Ge1-xSnx alloy system is an interesting group IV semiconductor material with potential applications in the fabrication of midinfrared optoelectronic devices. Considerable attention has been given to Ge1-xSnx alloys because they offer the opportunity to realize the fascinating idea of having a direct energy gap material based fully on group IV elements. Band structure calculations show that Ge1-xSnx has a direct band gap continuously tunable from ~0.5 to 0 eV at Sn concentrations from 0.09 to 0.25 approximately, besides because of the absence of polar optical scattering, intrinsic to IV-IV alloys and lower effective mass of Ge, it is expected that Ge1-xSnx exhibits high carrier mobility. However, the growth of single phase crystals presents several problems associated with the limited bulk solubility exhibited by Sn in Ge, the large lattice mismatch between Sn and Ge and lower surface free energy of Sn versus Ge leading to the surface segregation of Sn. Additionally, the mutual maximum solubility of Ge and Sn is less than 1%. Therefore, Ge1-xSnx alloys are metastable and grown under non-equilibrium conditions. The recent synthesis of good crystalline quality Ge1-x Snx thin films and the experimental observation of an indirect to direct band gap transition make feasible the eventual fabrication.

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