The formation of a nano-porous structure in amorphous Ge thin film (sputter-deposited on SiO2) during ion irradiation at room temperature with 300 keV Ge+ has been observed. The porous film showed a sponge-like structure substantially different from the columnar structure reported for ion implanted bulk Ge. The voids size and structure resulted to be strongly affected by the material preparation, while the volume expansion turned out to be determined only by the nuclear deposition energy. In SiGe alloys, the swelling occurs only if the Ge concentration is above 90%. These findings rely on peculiar characteristics related to the mechanism of voids nucleation and growth, but they are crucial for future applications of active nanostructured layers such as low cost chemical and biochemical sensing devices or electrodes in batteries.
1 Jun 2012
Volume: 111 Issue: 11 Pages: 113515
Journal of Applied Physics