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Stress redistribution in individual ultrathin strained silicon nanowires: a high-resolution polarized Raman study

Alvarado Tarun, Norihiko Hayazawa, Maria Vanessa Balois, Satoshi Kawata, Manfred Reiche and Oussama Moutanabbir

Article (2013)

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Strain nano-engineering provides valuable opportunities to create high-performance nanodevices by a precise tailoring of semiconductor band structure. Achieving these enhanced capabilities has sparked a surge of interest in controlling strain on the nanoscale. In this work, the stress behavior in ultrathin strained silicon nanowires directly on oxide is elucidated using background-free, high-resolution polarized Raman spectroscopy. We established a theoretical framework to quantify the stress from Raman shifts taking into account the anisotropy associated with the nanowire quasi-one-dimensional morphology. The investigated nanowires have lateral dimensions of 30, 50 and 80 nm and a length of 1 mu m top-down fabricated by patterning and etching 15 nm thick biaxially tensile strained silicon nanomembranes generated using heteroepitaxy and ultrathin layer transfer. The concern over the contribution of Raman scattering at the nanowire < 110 > oriented sidewalls is circumvented by precisely selecting the incident polarization relative to the sidewalls of the nanowire, thus enabling an accurate and rigorous analysis of stress profiles in individual nanowires. Unlike suspended nanowires, which become uniaxially strained as a result of free surface-induced relaxation, we demonstrated that stress profiles in single nanowires are rather complex and non-uniform along different directions due to the oxide-nanowire interface. As a general trend, higher stresses are observed at the center of the nanowire and found to decrease linearly as a function of the nanowire width. Using multi-wavelength high-resolution Raman spectroscopy, we also extracted the stress profiles at different depths in the nanowire. The residual stress in the top similar to 10 nm of the nanowire was found to be nearly uniaxial and increase from the edge toward the center, which remains highly strained. In contrast, the average stress profiles measured over the whole nanowire thickness exhibit different behavior characterized by a plateau in the region similar to 200 nm away from the edges. Our observations indicate that the lattice near the newly formed free surface moves inwards and drags the underlying substrate leading to a complex redistribution of stress. This nanoscale patterning-induced relaxation has direct implications for electrical and mechanical properties of strained silicon nanowires and provides myriad opportunities to create entirely new strained-engineered nanoscale devices.

Subjects: 3100 Physics > 3100 Physics
Department: Department of Engineering Physics
Funders: RIKEN, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology - Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientist, CRSNG / NSERC, École Polytechnique de Montreal
Grant number: 21686007
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/3442/
Journal Title: New Journal of Physics (vol. 15, no. 5)
Publisher: IOP Science
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/5/053042
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/15/5/053042
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2019 13:13
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 16:27
Cite in APA 7: Tarun, A., Hayazawa, N., Balois, M. V., Kawata, S., Reiche, M., & Moutanabbir, O. (2013). Stress redistribution in individual ultrathin strained silicon nanowires: a high-resolution polarized Raman study. New Journal of Physics, 15(5). https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/15/5/053042


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