Nanoscale Mapping of the 3D Strain Tensor in a Germanium Quantum Well Hosting a Functional Spin Qubit Device

Cedric Corley-Wiciak*, Carsten Richter, Marvin H. Zoellner, Ignatii Zaitsev, Costanza L. Manganelli, Nico W. Hendrickx, Amir Sammak, Menno Veldhorst, Giordano Scappucci, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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A strained Ge quantum well, grown on a SiGe/Si virtual substrate and hosting two electrostatically defined hole spin qubits, is nondestructively investigated by synchrotron-based scanning X-ray diffraction microscopy to determine all its Bravais lattice parameters. This allows rendering the three-dimensional spatial dependence of the six strain tensor components with a lateral resolution of approximately 50 nm. Two different spatial scales governing the strain field fluctuations in proximity of the qubits are observed at <100 nm and >1 μm, respectively. The short-ranged fluctuations have a typical bandwidth of 2 × 10-4 and can be quantitatively linked to the compressive stressing action of the metal electrodes defining the qubits. By finite element mechanical simulations, it is estimated that this strain fluctuation is increased up to 6 × 10-4 at cryogenic temperature. The longer-ranged fluctuations are of the 10-3 order and are associated with misfit dislocations in the plastically relaxed virtual substrate. From this, energy variations of the light and heavy-hole energy maxima of the order of several 100 μeV and 1 meV are calculated for electrodes and dislocations, respectively. These insights over material-related inhomogeneities may feed into further modeling for optimization and design of large-scale quantum processors manufactured using the mainstream Si-based microelectronics technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3119-3130
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • lattice strain
  • quantum computing
  • silicon germanium
  • synchrotron
  • thermomechanical FEM simulation
  • X-ray diffraction


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