In this paper we present a study on the Ge composition and shape evolution of self-assembled Ge/Si(001) islands during the island growth and the subsequent Si capping at 750°C. By combining atomic force microscope images and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy data we quantitatively determine the Ge distribution in the wetting layer and in the islands, separately. We found that in as-grown sample the wetting layer (WL) is substantially Si-richer than the islands, its average composition being independent on the growth rate. Upon capping, the islands proceed to a reverse Straski-Krastanov shape evolution, with a progressive Si-enrichment of both the wetting layer and the islands. We demonstrate that this evolution occurs at constant island volume. The observed behavior indicates the suppression of the lateral diffusion of both Ge and Si atoms from the wetting layer to the surface of the enlarging islands, and vice versa.
M., D.S., G., C., Evangelisti, F. (2008). Alloying in Ge(Si)/Si(001) self-assembled islands during their growth and capping: XPS and AFM study. PHYSICAL REVIEW. B, CONDENSED MATTER AND MATERIALS PHYSICS, 77, 045431.