Amorphous silicide formation by thermal reaction: A comparison of several metalsilicon systems

Karen Holloway, Robert Sinclair, Menachem Nathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At some metal (M)silicon interfaces, such as in TiSi and NiSi diffusion couples, an amorphous silicide forms at low annealing temperatures, while such a reaction does not occur at others, such as MoSi and CoSi. As CoSi and NiSi have similar phase diagrams, silicide crystalline structures, and lattice parameters, their differing behavior in this regard has motivated a comparative study. We have used cross-section transmission electron microscopy to investigate interfacial reactions in evaporated NiSi and CoSi four-layer stacks. The structure of the NiSi as-deposited films show intermixed amorphous interfacial layers, similar to those observed in sputtered TiSi and MoSi multilayers. These interlayers grow on rapid thermal annealing at 250 °C for 1 s, forming an amorphous NiSi alloy. There are intermixed interfacial layers in the CoSi stack as well; however, they are partially crystalline. A 250 °C anneal does not change this microstructure; however, the interlayers crystallize more fully during a 10-s anneal at 300 °C These results are discussed, along with observations in sputtered TiSi and MoSi multilayers, to clarify the factors which determine the tendency of a MSi system to undergo amorphization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1479-1483
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1989
Externally publishedYes


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