Skip to content


  • Nano Review
  • Open Access

Buffer layer-assisted growth of Ge nanoclusters on Si

  • 1 and
  • 1
Nanoscale Research Letters20061:11

  • Published:


In the buffer layer-assisted growth method, a condensed inert gas layer of xenon, with low-surface free energy, is used as a buffer to prevent direct interactions of deposited atoms with substrates. Because ofan unusually wide applicability, the buffer layer-assisted growth method has provided a unique avenue for creation of nanostructures that are otherwise impossible to grow, and thus offered unprecedented opportunities for fundamental and applied research in nanoscale science and technology. In this article, we review recent progress in the application of the buffer layer-assisted growth method to the fabrication of Ge nanoclusters on Si substrates. In particular, we emphasize the novel configurations of the obtained Ge nanoclusters, which are characterized by the absence of a wetting layer, quasi-zero dimensionality with tunable sizes, and high cluster density in comparison with Ge nanoclusters that are formed with standard Stranski-Krastanov growth methods. The optical emission behaviors are discussed in correlation with the morphological properties.


  • Nanocluster
  • Buffer layer-assisted growth
  • BLAG
  • Ge nanocluster
  • Photoluminescence
  • Semiconductor growth
  • 61.46.+w
  • 78.55.Ap
  • 68.37.Lp
  • 78.67.Hc




This work was supported by ORNL under the LDRD Program, managed by UT-Battelle, LLC for the U. S. Department of Energy under Contract #DE-AC05-00OR22725.

Authors’ Affiliations

Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA


  1. Kaestner M, Voigtlaender B: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 1999, 82: 2745. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.82.2745View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Dashiell MW, Denker U, Schmidt OG: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2001, 79: 2261. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXnt1ahtb4%3D] 10.1063/1.1405148View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Schmidt OG, Lange C, Eberl K: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1999, 75: 1905. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXlvFWju7Y%3D] 10.1063/1.124867View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  4. Wan J, Jin GL, Jiang ZM, Luo YH, Liu JL, Wang L: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2001, 78: 1763. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXhvVyltbw%3D] 10.1063/1.1356454View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  5. Sunamura H, Usami N, Shiraki Y, Fukatsu S: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1995, 66: 3024. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXlvFenurk%3D] 10.1063/1.114265View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  6. Brunner K: Rep. Prog. Phys.. 2002, 65: 27. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XhtlWjs7o%3D] 10.1088/0034-4885/65/1/202View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  7. Weaver JH, Waddill GD: Science. 1991, 251: 1444. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK3MXitlGmtro%3D] 10.1126/science.251.5000.1444View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  8. Haley C, Weaver JH: Surf. Sci.. 2002, 518: 243. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XnsVSisb4%3D] 10.1016/S0039-6028(02)02197-0View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  9. Antonov VN, Palmer JS, Waggoner PS, Bhatti AS, Weaver JH: Phys. Rev. B. 2004, 70: 045406. 10.1103/PhysRevB.70.045406View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  10. Yoo K, Li AP, Zhang Z, Weitering HH, Flack F, Lagally MG, Wendelken JF: Surf. Sci.. 2003, 546: L803. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXoslyru78%3D] 10.1016/j.susc.2003.09.029View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  11. Li AP, Flack F, Lagally MG, Chisholm MF, Yoo K, Zhang ZY, Weitering HH, Wendelken JF: Phys. Rev. B. 2004, 69: 245310. 10.1103/PhysRevB.69.245310View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  12. Yoo K, Zhang ZY, Wendelken JF: Jpn. J. Appl. Phys.. 2003, 42: L1232. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXosFSitbs%3D]View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  13. Mo YW, Savage DE, Swartzentruber BS, Lagally MG: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 1990, 65: 1020. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK3cXlvVWksbs%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevLett.65.1020View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  14. Tersoff J, Spencer BJ, Rasterlli A, von Kaenel H: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 2002, 89: 196104. COI number [1:STN:280:DC%2BD38notlaqsw%3D%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.196104View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  15. Cho B, Schwarz-Selinger T, Ohmori K, Cahill DG, Greene JE: Phys. Rev. B. 2002, 66: 195407. 10.1103/PhysRevB.66.195407View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  16. Chen X, Wu F, Zhang Z, Lagally MG: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 1994, 73: 850. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXms1Cns7o%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevLett.73.850View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  17. Shklyaev A, Shibata M, Ichikawa M: Phys. Rev. B. 2000, 62: 1540. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXkvVemsLk%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevB.62.1540View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang L, Chey SJ, Weaver JH: Phys. Rev. Lett.. 1998, 80: 4095. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1cXislOjtLs%3D] 10.1103/PhysRevLett.80.4095View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  19. Dashiell MW, Denker U, Mueller C, Costantini G, Manzano C, Kern K, Schmidt OG: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2002, 80: 1279. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XhtlSiuro%3D] 10.1063/1.1430508View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  20. Fukatsu S, Mera Y, Inoue M, Maeda K, Akiyama H, Sakaki H: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1996, 68: 1889. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK28XhvFyjur0%3D] 10.1063/1.116284View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  21. Bremond G, Serpentine M, Souifi A, Guillot G, Jacquier B, Abdallah M, Berbezier I, Joyce B: Microelectron. J.. 1999, 30: 357. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXjtFyqsL4%3D] 10.1016/S0026-2692(98)00135-9View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmidt OG, Lange C, Eberl K: Phys. Status Solidi B. 1999, 215: 319. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXlvFOku7w%3D] 10.1002/(SICI)1521-3951(199909)215:1<319::AID-PSSB319>3.0.CO;2-GView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  23. Apetz R, Vescan L, Hartmann A, Dieker C, Lueth H: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1995, 66: 445. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXjtFOntLw%3D] 10.1063/1.114051View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  24. Y.P. Varshni, Physica 34, 149 (1967); J.I. Pankove, Optical Processes in Semiconductors (Prentice Hall, Englewood, NJ, 1971), p. 25View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  25. Qin GG, Li AP, Zhang BR, Li BC: J. Appl. Phys.. 1995, 78: 2006. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXntVOqu7s%3D] 10.1063/1.360175View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  26. Qin GG, Bai GF, Li AP, Ma SY, Sun YK, Zhang BR, Zong ZH: Thin Solid Films. 1999, 338: 131. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXhtFKgtb8%3D] 10.1016/S0040-6090(98)01077-3View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  27. Schmidt OG, Lange C, Eberl K: Phys. Status Solidi B. 1999, 215: 319. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXlvFOku7w%3D] 10.1002/(SICI)1521-3951(199909)215:1<319::AID-PSSB319>3.0.CO;2-GView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  28. Shklyaev AA, Ichikawa M: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 2002, 80: 1432. COI number [1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XhsVCntb0%3D] 10.1063/1.1451986View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  29. Min KS, Shcheglov KV, Yang CM, Atwater HA, Brongersma ML, Polman A: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1996, 68: 2511. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK28Xis1SkurY%3D] 10.1063/1.115838View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  30. Duncan WM, Chang PH, Mao BY, Chen CE: Appl. Phys. Lett.. 1987, 51: 773. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaL2sXmt1Kqsbw%3D] 10.1063/1.98863View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  31. Sekiguchi T, Kveder VV, Sumino K: J. Appl. Phys.. 1994, 76: 7882. COI number [1:CAS:528:DyaK2MXisFCrt78%3D] 10.1063/1.357898View ArticleGoogle Scholar


© to the authors 2006