Strain Engineering of Germanium Nanobeams by Electrostatic Actuation

Ayan A., Turkay D., Unlu B., Naghinazhadahmadi P., Oliaei S. N. B., Boztug C., ...More

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.9, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-019-41097-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Germanium (Ge) is a promising material for the development of a light source compatible with the silicon microfabrication technology, even though it is an indirect-bandgap material in its bulk form. Among various techniques suggested to boost the light emission efficiency of Ge, the strain induction is capable of providing the wavelength tunability if the strain is applied via an external force. Here, we introduce a method to control the amount of the axial strain, and therefore the emission wavelength, on a suspended Ge nanobeam by an applied voltage. We demonstrate, based on mechanical and electrical simulations, that axial strains over 4% can be achieved without experiencing any mechanical and/or electrical failure. We also show that the non-uniform strain distribution on the Ge nanobeam as a result of the applied voltage enhances light emission over 6 folds as compared to a Ge nanobeam with a uniform strain distribution. We anticipate that electrostatic actuation of Ge nanobeams provides a suitable platform for the realization of the on-chip tunable-wavelength infrared light sources that can be monolithically integrated on Si chips.