Nano-heteroepitaxy stress and strain analysis: from molecular dynamic simulations to continuum methods
MetadataShow full item record
For decades, epitaxy is used in nanotechnologies and semiconductor fabrications. So far, it's the only affordable method of high quality crystal growth for many semiconductor materials. Heterostructures developed from these make it possible to solve the considerably more general problem of controlling the fundamental parameters inside the semiconductor crystals and devices. Moreover, as one newly arising study and application branch of epitaxy, selective area growth (SAG) is widely used to fabricate materials of different thicknesses and composition on different regions of a single wafer. All of these new and promising fields have caught the interests and attentions of all the researchers around the world. In this work, we will study the stress and strain analysis of epitaxy in nano-scale materials, in which we seek a methodology to bridge the gap between continuum mechanical models and incorporate surface excess energy effects, which can be obtained by molecular dynamical simulations. We will make a brief description of the elastic behavior of the bulk material, covering the concepts of stress, strain, elastic energy and especially, the elastic constants. After that, we explained in details about the definitions of surface/interface excess energy and their characteristic property tensors. For both elastic constants and surface excess energy, we will use molecular dynamic simulations to calculate them out, which is mainly about curve-fitting the parabola function between the total strain energy density and the strain. After this, we analyzed the stress and strain state in nanoisland during the selective area growth of epitaxy. When the nanoisland is relaxed, the lattice structure becomes equilibrated, which means the total strain energy of system need to be minimized. Compared to other researcher's work, our model is based on continuum mechanics but also adopts the outcome from MD simulations. By combining these microscopic informations and those macroscopic observable properties, such as bulk elastic constants, we can provide a novel way of analyzing the stress and strain profile in epitaxy. The most important idea behind this approach is that, whenever we can obtain the elastic constants and surface property tensors from MD simulations, we can follow the same methodology to analyse the stress and strain in any epitaxy process. This is the power of combining atomistic simulations and continuum method, which can take considerations of both the microscopic and macroscopic factors.