Phase-field simulations of faceted Ge/Si-crystal arrays, merging into a suspended film

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



We simulate the morphological evolution of Ge microcrystals, grown out-of-equilibrium on deeply patterned Si substrates, as resulting from surface diffusion driven by the tendency toward the minimization of the surface energy. In particular, we report three-dimensional phase-field simulations accounting for the realistic surface energy anisotropy of Ge/Si crystals. In Salvalaglio et al. (2015) [10] it has been shown both by experiments and simulations that annealing of closely spaced crystals leads to a coalescence process with the formation of a suspended film. However, this was explained only by considering an isotropic surface energy. Here, we extend such a study by showing first the morphological changes of faceted isolated crystals. Then, the evolution of dense arrays is considered, describing their coalescence along with the evolution of facets. Combined with the previous results without anisotropy in the surface energy, this work allows us to confirm and assess the key features of the coalescence process. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017

External IDs

Scopus 84969716727
ORCID /0000-0002-4217-0951/work/142237383



  • Heteroepitaxy, Surface diffusion, Germanium, Surface energy, Phase field, Heteroepitaxy, Silicon, Germanium, Surface energy, Coalescence, Surface diffusion, Growth, phase field modeling