Nanoscale η-NiSi formation via ion irradiation of Si/Ni/Si

Nasrin Banu, Biswarup Satpati, Anjan Bhukta, B. N. Dev

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Nickel monosilicide (NiSi) has emerged as an excellent material of choice for source-drain contact applications below 45 nm node complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor technology. We have investigated the formation of nanoscale NiSi by ion irradiation of Si (∼5 nm)/Ni(∼15 nm)/Si, grown in an ultrahigh vacuum environment. Irradiation was carried out at room temperature with 1 MeV Si+ ions. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were employed for analysis. With increasing ion fluence, ion beam mixing occurs and more and more Si is incorporated into the Ni layer, and this layer gets amorphized. At an even higher fluence, a recrystallized uniform nickel monosilicide (η-NiSi) layer is formed. Several planar spacings of different Miller indices of η-NiSi have been observed in XRD and TEM. Additionally, an interesting amorphization and recrystallization behavior has been observed in the substrate Si with increasing ion fluence. To our knowledge, this has never been observed in ion irradiation of bare Si in decades of work in this area. This kind of amorphization/recrystallization in Si is apparently Ni-induced. Irradiation displaces Ni and produces a distribution of Ni in amorphized Si. Irradiation at a higher fluence produces two recrystallized Si bands in amorphous Si with concomitant accumulation of Ni at the amorphous/crystalline interfaces. On a further increase in irradiation fluence, the recrystallized Si bands again pass through amorphization and recrystallization. The total thickness of recrystallized, as well as amorphous Si, shows an oscillatory behavior as a function of ion fluence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045302
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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