Novel methods for CVD of Ge4C and (Ge4C)(x)Si(y) diamond-like semiconductor heterostructures: Synthetic pathways and structures of trigermyl-(GeH3)3CH and tetragermyl-(GeH3)4C methanes

John Kouvetakis, Arne Haaland, Dmitry J. Shorokhov, Hans Vidar Volden, Georgii V. Girichev, Vasili I. Sokolov, Phillip Matsunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


GeX2·dioxane (X = Cl, Br) complexes insert completely into CBr4 to afford the sterically crowded cluster compounds (BrCl2Ge)4C (1) and (Br3Ge)4C (2) in 80% and 95% yields, respectively. These display physical, spectroscopic, and structural properties that are indicative of highly symmetric molecules with a remarkably strained carbon center. Compounds 1 and 2 react with LiAlH4 to produce the hydrides (H3Ge)3CH (3) and (H3Ge)4C (4) which are readily identified and characterized by spectroscopic methods and gas-phase electron diffraction. Compound 3 is also conveniently prepared from.the LiAlH4 reduction of (GeBr3)3CH (5) which in turn is obtained by insertion of GeBr2·dioxane into the C-Br bonds of bromoform. Refinement of the diffraction data for 3 confirmed a model of C3 symmetry, with local C(3v) symmetry of the GeH3 groups, and gave a Ge-C bond length of 1.96 Å. The structure refinement of 4 was based on a model of T symmetry and displayed a rather normal Ge-C bond distance of 1.97 Å, which is substantially shorter than that (2.049 Å) of the strained (Br3Ge)4C (2) compound. Density functional calculations closely reproduced the observed molecular structures for 3 and 4. The thermal dehydrogenation of 4 on (100) Si surfaces at 500°C resulted in the growth of a diamond-structured material with an approximate composition of Ge4C. Reactions of 4 with (SiH3)2 on Si yielded heteroepitaxial growth of metastable, monocrystalline (Ge4C)(x)Si(y) alloy semiconductors that are intended to have band gaps wider than those of pure Si and Si(1-x)Ge(x) alloys and strained superlattices. The covalent cluster species described here not only are of intrinsic molecular interest but also provide a unique route to a new class of semiconductor materials and form a model for local carbon sites in Ge-C crystals and related electronic materials based on the diamond structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6738-6744
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 15 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Novel methods for CVD of Ge<sub>4</sub>C and (Ge<sub>4</sub>C)(x)Si(y) diamond-like semiconductor heterostructures: Synthetic pathways and structures of trigermyl-(GeH<sub>3</sub>)<sub>3</sub>CH and tetragermyl-(GeH<sub>3</sub>)<sub>4</sub>C methanes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this