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The present work displays a route to design strain gradients at the interface between substrate and van der Waals bonded materials. The latter are expected to grow decoupled from the substrates and fully relaxed and thus, by definition, incompatible with conventional strain engineering. By the usage of passivated vicinal surfaces we are able to insert strain at step edges of layered chalcogenides, as demonstrated by the tilt of the epilayer in the growth direction with respect of the substrate orientation. The interplay between classical and van der Waals epitaxy can be modulated with an accurate choice of the substrate miscut. High quality crystalline Ge x Sb 2 Te 3+ x with almost Ge 1 Sb 2 Te 4 composition and improved degree of ordering of the vacancy layers is thus obtained by epitaxial growth of layers on 3–4 stepped Si substrates. These results highlight that it is possible to build and control strain in van der …
Nature Publishing Group
Publication date: 
3 May 2017

Eugenio Zallo, Stefano Cecchi, Jos E Boschker, Antonio M Mio, Fabrizio Arciprete, Stefania Privitera, Raffaella Calarco

Biblio References: 
Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Pages: 1-7
Scientific reports