Atomically flat, fully strained Si1−xGex layers with thicknesses ranging from 8 to 180 nm were grown on Si(001) at 450 °C by gas-source molecular beam epitaxy from Ge2H6/Si2H6 mixtures. We show that smooth, relaxed alloy layers are obtained, without the necessity of using several-microns-thick compositionally graded layers, via in situ rapid thermal annealing of fully strained Si1−xGex(001) layers at 1000 °C for 10 s. Relaxed Si0.75Ge0.25(001) layers with thicknesses of 100–180 nm were found to have surface widths of ≃5 nm, comparable to the best results obtained using thick graded buffer layers.

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