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Silicide formation and the interaction of metals with polycrystalline Si


Olowolafe, Johnson Olufemi (1977) Silicide formation and the interaction of metals with polycrystalline Si. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/JZBN-0V57.


The main factors affecting solid-phase Si-metal interactions are reported in this work. The influence of the orientation of the Si substrates and the presence of impurities in metal films and at the Si-metal interface on the formation of nickel and chromium silicides have been demonstrated. We have observed that the formation and kinetic rate of growth of nickel silicides is strongly dependent on the orientation and crystallinity of the Si substrates; a fact which, up to date, has never been seriously investigated in silicide formation. Impurity contaminations in the Cr film and at the Si-Cr interface are the most dominant influencing factors in the formation and kinetic rate of growth of CrSi2. The potentiality and use of silicides as a diffusion barrier in metallization on silicon devices were also investigated.

Two phases, Ni2Si and NiSi, form simultaneously in two distinct sublayers in the reaction of Ni with amorphous Si, while only the former phase was observed on other substrates. On (111) oriented Si substrates the growth rate is about 2 to 3 times less than that on <100> or polycrystalline Si. Transmission electron micrographs establish-·that silicide layers grown on different substrates have different microcrystalline structures. The concept of grain-boundary diffusion is speculated to be an important factor in silicide formation.

The composition and kinetic rate of CrSi2 formation are not influenced by the underlying Si substrate. While the orientation of the Si substrate does not affect the formation of CrSi2 , the purity of the Cr film and the state of Si-Cr interface become the predominant factors in the reaction process. With an interposed layer of Pd2Si between the Cr film and the Si substrate, CrSi2 starts to form at a much lower temperature (400°C) relative to the Si-Cr system. However, the growth rate of CrSi2 is observed to be independent of the thickness of the Pd2Si layer. For both Si-Cr and Si-Pd2Si-Cr samples, the growth rate is linear with time with an activation energy of 1.7 ± 0.1 ev.

A tracer technique using radioactive 31Si (T1/2 = 2.26 h) was used to study the formation of CrSi2 on Pd2Si. It is established from this experiment that the growth of CrSi2 takes place partly by transport of Si directly from the Si substrate and partly by breaking Pd2Si bonds, making free Si atoms available for the growth process.

The role of CrSi2 in Pd-Al metallization on Si was studied. It is established that a thin CrSi2 layer can be used as a diffusion barrier to prevent Al from interacting with Pd2Si in the Pd-Al metallization on Si.

As a generalization of what has been observed for polycrystalline-Si-Al interaction, the reactions between polycrystalline Si (poly Si) and other metals were studied. The metals investigated include Ni, Cr, Pd, Ag and Au. For Ni, Cr and Pd, annealing results in silicide formation, at temperatures similar to those observed on single crystal Si substrates. For Al, Ag and Au, which form simple eutectics with Si annealing results in erosion of the poly Si layer and growth of Si crystallites in the metal films.

Backscattering spectrometry with 2.0 and 2.3 MeV 4He ions was the main analytical tool used in all our investigations. Other experimental techniques include the Read camera glancing angle x-ray diffraction, scanning electron, optical and transmission electron microscopy. Details of these analytical techniques are given in Chapter II.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Applied Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Mayer, James Walter
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:14 January 1977
Additional Information:Part of this thesis has been previously published under the following titles: .. Iron Silicide Thin Film Formation at Low Temperatures," Thin Solid Films~, 415 (1975), s.s. Lau, J.S.Y. Feng, J.O. Olowolafe and M-A. Nicolet . .. Interaction of Metal Layers with Polycrystalline Si, .. J. Appl. Phys. !I, 1278 (1976), K. Nakamura, J.O. Olowolafe, S.S. Lau, M-A. Nicolet and J.H. Mayer. "Influence of the Si Substrates on the Formation of Ni Silicides," Thin Solid Films ~, 143 (1976). J.O. Olowolafe, M-A. Nicolet and J.W. Mayer . "Formation Kinetics of CrSj 2 Films on Si Substrates with and Without Interposed Pd2si Layer," J. Appl. Phys. !l• 5182 (1976), J.O. Olowolafe, M-A. Nicolet and J.W. Mayer. "Chromium Thin Films as a Barrier to the Interaction of Pd2Si withAl," Solid-State Electron. (in press), J.O. Olowolafe, M-A. Nicolet and J.W. Mayer. "Analysis of Semiconductor Structures by Nuclear and Electrical Techniques," (Section D), Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories Scientific Report No. 2 (1975). "Radioactive Silicon Tracer Studies of the Formation of Crsi2 on Pd2Si and PtSi," (to be published), R. Pretorius, J.O. Olowolafe anu J.W. Mayer.
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:07212014-113955709
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Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8575
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:23 Jul 2014 16:57
Last Modified:25 Jan 2021 22:16

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