This chapter presents the results of growing GeMn nanocolumns on Ge(001) substrates by means of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). The samples have been prepared by co-depositing Ge and Mn at growth temperature of 130°C and Mn at concentration of ~6% to ensure the reproduction of GeMn nanocolumns. Based on the observation of changes in reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) patterns during nanocolumn growth, surface signals of GeMn nanocolumn formation have been identified. Structural analysis using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) show the self-assembled nanocolumns with core-shell structure extend through the whole thickness of the GeMn layer. Most of nanocolumns are oriented perpendicular to the interface along the growth direction. The nanocolumn size has been determined to be about 5–8 nm in diameter and a maximum height of 80 nm. A phenomenological model has been proposed to explain the driving force for self-assembly and growth mechanisms of GeMn nanocolumns. The in-plane or lateral Mn diffusion/segregation is driven by a low solubility of Mn in Ge while the driving force of Mn vertical segregation is induced by the surfactant effect along the  direction.
Part of the book: Self-Assembly of Nanostructures and Patchy Nanoparticles