Marker studies of nickel silicide formation

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Atomic diffusion during the solid state formation of thin films of nickel silicides (Ni2Si and NiSi) from nickel and amorphous silicon has been investigated using 31Si radioactive tracer and inert marker techniques. Samples were prepared by vacuum deposition of thin films of nickel and silicon, followed by thermal annealing to effect silicide growth. The radioactive tracer investigation of Ni2Si showed nickel to be the diffusing species during silicide growth. Sharply defined Ni2si* profiles of 100% radioactive concentration at the sample surface were - obtained. The results are compared with previous results in which the profiles were more spread out and of lower surface concentration. The radioactive tracer investigation of NiSi formation showed that nickel is also the diffusing species during second phase growth. The NiSi * layer was found to be of 100% concentration. Some spreading of the activity profile near the NiSi/NiSi* interface was observed. The results were consistent with previous 31Si tracer work on NiSi formation and also with the present Ni * 2Si results. The inert marker investigation used an ultra-thin (5-10 A) continuous layer of Mo or Ta to monitor atomic movement during silicide growth. The results confirmed nickel to be the diffusing species during the growth of both phases. These results are in excellent agreement with previous inert marker studies of nickel silicide growth.

Includes bibliographical references.