The effectiveness of using nanometer-thin boron (PureB) layers as interdiffusion barrier to aluminum (Al) is studied for a contacting scheme specifically developed for fabricating germanium-on-silicon (Ge-on-Si) p + n photodiodes with an oxide-covered light entrance window. Contacting is achieved at the perimeter of the Ge-island anode directly to an Al interconnect metallization. The Ge is grown in oxide windows to the Si wafer and covered by a B and gallium (Ga) layer stack (PureGaB) composed of about a nanometer of Ga for forming the p + Ge region and 10 nm of B as an interdiffusion barrier to the Al. To form contact windows, the side-wall oxide is etched away, exposing a small tip of the Ge perimeter to Al that from this point travels about 5 μm into the bulk Ge crystal. In this process, Ge and Si materials are displaced, forming Ge-filled V-grooves at the Si surface. The Al coalesces in grains. This process is studied here by high-resolution cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy that confirm the purities of the Ge and Al grains. Diodes are fabricated with different geometries and statistical current–voltage characterization reveals a spread that can be related to across-the-wafer variations in the contact processing. The I–V behavior is characterized by low dark current, low contact resistance, and breakdown voltages that are suitable for operation in avalanching modes. The restricted access to the Ge of the Al inducing the Ge and Si material transport does not destroy the very good electrical characteristics typical of PureGaB Ge-on-Si diodes.
- pure Ga
- Pure Bpure GaGe-on-SiGe diodesphotodiodesAl-induced material mediation
- Al-induced material mediation
- Pure B
- Ge diodes