Bottom-up assembly of metallic germanium
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Extending chip performance beyond current limits of miniaturisation requires new materials and functionalities that integrate well with the silicon platform. Germanium fits these requirements and has been proposed as a high-mobility channel material, a light emitting medium in silicon-integrated lasers, and a plasmonic conductor for bio-sensing. Common to these diverse applications is the need for homogeneous, high electron densities in three-dimensions (3D). Here we use a bottom-up approach to demonstrate the 3D assembly of atomically sharp doping profiles in germanium by a repeated stacking of two-dimensional (2D) high-density phosphorus layers. This produces high-density (1019 to 1020 cm-3) low-resistivity (10-4Ω ∙ cm) metallic germanium of precisely defined thickness, beyond the capabilities of diffusion-based doping technologies. We demonstrate that free electrons from distinct 2D dopant layers coalesce into a homogeneous 3D conductor using anisotropic quantum interference measurements, atom probe tomography, and density functional theory.
This open access article is distributed under the Creative Commons license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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