Controlled Formation of Stacked Si Quantum Dots in Vertical SiGe Nanowires
We demonstrate the ability to fabricate vertically stacked Si quantum dots (QDs) within SiGe nanowires with QD diameters down to 2 nm. These QDs are formed during high-temperature dry oxidation of Si/SiGe heterostructure pillars, during which Ge diffuses along the pillars' sidewalls and encapsulates the Si layers. Continued oxidation results in QDs with sizes dependent on oxidation time. The formation of a Ge-rich shell that encapsulates the Si QDs is observed, a configuration which is confirmed to be thermodynamically favorable with molecular dynamics and density functional theory. The type-II band alignment of the Si dot/SiGe pillar suggests that charge trapping on the Si QDs is possible, and electron energy loss spectra show that a conduction band offset of at least 200 meV is maintained for even the smallest Si QDs. Our approach is compatible with current Si-based manufacturing processes, offering a new avenue for realizing Si QD devices.