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.
This project sought to develop a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms underlying a newly observed enhanced germanium (Ge) diffusion process in silicon germanium (SiGe) semiconductor nanostructures during thermal oxidation. Using a combination of oxidationdiffusion experiments, high resolution imaging, and theoretical modeling, a model for the enhanced Ge diffusion mechanism was proposed. Additionally, a nanofabrication approach utilizing this enhanced Ge diffusion mechanism was shown to be applicable to arbitrary 3D shapes, leading to the fabrication of stacked silicon quantum dots embedded in SiGe nanopillars. A new wet etch-based method for preparing 3D nanostructures for highresolution imaging free of obscuring material or damage was also developed. These results enable a new method for the controlled and scalable fabrication of on-chip silicon nanostructures with sub-10 nm dimensions needed for next generation microelectronics, including low energy electronics, quantum computing, sensors, and integrated photonics.
We present the fabrication of nano-magnet arrays, comprised of two sets of interleaving SmCo5 and Co nano-magnets, and the subsequent development and implementation of a protocol to program the array to create a one-dimensional rotating magnetic field. We designed the array based on the microstructural and magnetic properties of SmCo5 films annealed under different conditions, also presented here. Leveraging the extremely high contrast in coercivity between SmCo5 and Co, we applied a sequence of external magnetic fields to program the nano-magnet arrays into a configuration with alternating polarization, which based on simulations creates a rotating magnetic field in the vicinity of nano-magnets. Our proof-of-concept demonstration shows that complex, nanoscale magnetic fields can be synthesized through coercivity contrast of constituent magnetic materials and carefully designed sequences of programming magnetic fields.