Publications / Journal Article

Controlled Formation of Stacked Si Quantum Dots in Vertical SiGe Nanowires

Turner, Emily M.; Campbell, Quinn C.; Pizarro, Joaquín; Yang, Hongbin; Sapkota, Keshab R.; Lu, Ping L.; Baczewski, Andrew D.; Wang, George T.; Jones, Kevin S.

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.