Interfacial stability of CoSi2/Si structures grown by molecular beam epitaxyThe stability of CoSi2/Si interfaces was examined in this study using columnar silicide structures grown on (111) Si substrates. In the first set of experiments, Co and Si were codeposited using MBE at 800 C and the resulting columnar silicide layer was capped by epitaxial Si. Deposition of Co on the surface of the Si capping layer at 800 C results in the growth of the buried silicide columns. The buried columns grow by subsurface diffusion of the deposited Co, suppressing the formation of surface islands of CoSi2. The column sidewalls appear to be less stable than the top and bottom interfaces, resulting in preferential lateral growth and ultimately in the coalescence of the columns to form a continuous buried CoSi2 layer. In the second set of experiments, annealing of a 250 nm-thick buried columnar layer at 1000 C under a 100 nm-thick Si capping layer results in the formation of a surface layer of CoSi2 with a reduction in the sizes of the CoSi2 columns. For a sample having a thicker Si capping layer the annealing leads to Ostwald ripening producing buried equiaxed columns. The high CoSi2/Si interfacial strain could provide the driving force for the observed behavior of the buried columns under high-temperature annealing.
George, T. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)