Institute of Functional Interfaces

Evaluation of the mechanical properties of germanium-on-insulator (GeOI) films by Raman spectroscopy and nanoindentation

  • chair:

    Mohammed, Y.S. / Zhang, K. / Heissler, S. / Baumgart, H. / Elmustafa, A.A. (2020)

  • place:

    J. Appl. Phys., 2020, 128, 065104,

  • Date: August 2020


Germanium-on-insulator (GeOI) films fabricated using the Smart Cut™ wafer bonding and film exfoliation technology were investigated for the mechanical properties and induced phase transformations by using nanoindentation and Raman spectroscopy experiments. The hardness and modulus results of the GeOI films are significantly different from the literature published Silicon-on-Insulator and bulk germanium results. The GeOI films are softer and more flexible as compared to bulk Ge hardness and stiffness properties. The Raman spectroscopy of the spherical indents indicates bands of metastable Ge phases @ 220 cm−1, 195 cm−1, and 184 cm−1 wavenumbers. Our results demonstrate that a spherical indenter impacted a wider area of contact and produced GeOI indented surfaces free of cracks and fracture. The spherical indenter tip kept the Ge top layer intact when compared to the Berkovich indenter tip during penetration. In contrast, the Berkovich indenter tip developed excessive fracture that resulted in displacing the Ge top layer sideways and exposed the Si substrate underneath revealing Raman spectra bands of metastable Si phases @ 350 cm−1, 399 cm−1, and 430 cm−1.