Effects of patterning induced stress relaxation in strained SOI/SiGe layers and substrate
Local stress fields in strained silicon structures important for CMOS technology are essentially related to size effects and properties of involved materials. In the present investigation, Raman spectroscopy was utilized to analyze the stress distribution within strained silicon (sSi) and silicon-germanium (SiGe) island structures. As a result of the structuring of initially unpatterned strained films, a size-dependent relaxation of the intrinsic film stresses was obtained in agreement with model calculations. This changed stress state in the features also results in the appearance of opposing stresses in the substrate underneath the islands. Even for strained island structures on top of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers, corresponding stresses in the silicon substrate underneath the oxide were detected. Within structures, the stress relaxation is more pronounced for islands on SOI substrates as compared to those on bulk silicon substrates.