Structural and optical study of Ge nanocrystals embedded in Si3N4 matrix

S. Lee*, S. Huang, G. Conibeer, M. A. Green

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Ge nanocrystals were fabricated in Si3N4 matrix by rf (radio frequency) magnetron sputtering, followed by post-annealing in a conventional tube furnace filled with N2. Ge content was varied between 30-50vol% in Ge-rich silicon nitride (GRN) layer with variation of annealing temperature between 600-900 °C were applied to study the crystallization properties. The structure of the Ge nanocrystals was studied by Raman spectroscopy, glancing incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXRD) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The composition and bonding status of Ge nanocrystals was confirmed by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). TEM images, Raman and XRD results show that the crystallization transition is dependent on temperature and Ge content. Crystals in 50vol% annealed at 900 °C were found as partially oxidized with 2at% of oxygen during the annealing process. This was shown by the XPS result. However, absorption measurement did not show evidence of quantum confinement of the Ge crystals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Procedia
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventAdvanced Inorganic Materials and Concepts for Photovoltaics - Symposium R at the E-MRS 2011 Spring Meeting - Nice, France
Duration: 9 May 201113 May 2011

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher 2011. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Germanium
  • disk-shaped nanocrystals
  • Raman
  • TEM


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