Optical and structural characterization of Ge clusters embedded in ZrO2

E. Agocs, Z. Zolnai, A. K. Rossall, J. A. van den Berg, B. Fodor, D. Lehninger, L. Khomenkova, S. Ponomaryov, O. Gudymenko, V. Yukhymchuk, B. Kalas, J. Heitmann, P. Petrik

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The change of optical and structural properties of Ge nanoclusters in ZrO2 matrix have been investigated by spectroscopic ellipsometry versus annealing temperatures. Radio-frequency top-down magnetron sputtering approach was used to produce the samples of different types, i.e. single-layers of pure Ge, pure ZrO2 and Ge-rich-ZrO2 as well as multi-layers stacked of 40 periods of 5-nm-Ge-rich-ZrO2 layers alternated by 5-nm-ZrO2 ones. Germanium nanoclusters in ZrO2 host were formed by rapid-thermal annealing at 600-800°C during 30s in nitrogen atmosphere. Reference optical properties for pure ZrO2 and pure Ge have been extracted using single-layer samples. As-deposited multi-layer structures can be perfectly modeled using the effective medium theory. However, annealed multi-layers demonstrated a significant diffusion of elements that was confirmed by medium energy ion scattering measurements. This fact prevents fitting of such annealed structure either by homogeneous or by periodic multi-layer models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue numberPart B
Early online date20 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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