Nanometric-Size Effect upon Diffusion and Reaction in Semiconductors: Experimental and Theoretical Investigations
The use of nanometric size materials as embedded clusters, nanometric films, nanocrystalline layers and nanostructures is steadily increasing in industrial processes aiming to produce materials and devices. This is especially true in today Si-based microelectronics with transistors made of a multitude of different thin film materials (B-, As-, and P-doped Si, NiSi (Pt), poly-Si, W, TiOx, LaO, SiO2, Al, HfO2), and exhibiting a characteristic lateral size of 32-22 nm. Size reduction leads to an increasing role of surfaces and interfaces, as well as stress and nanoscale effects upon important phenomena driving fabrication processes, such as atomic diffusion, phase nucleation, phase growth, and coarsening. Consequently, nanotechnology related to Material Science requires an investigation at the nanometric (or atomic) scale of elementary physical phenomena that are well-known at the microscopic scale. This paper is focused on nanosize effects upon diffusion in Si and Si reactive diffusion. We present recent results showing that the kinetic of lattice diffusion is enhanced in semiconductor nanometric (nano) grains, while grain boundary (GB) diffusion is not changed in nanoGBs. It is also shown that diffusion in triple-junction (TJ) is several orders of magnitude faster than GB diffusion, and that its effect cannot be neglected in nanocrystalline (nc) layers made of 40 nm-wide grains. Experimental results concerning Si sub-nanometric film reaction on Ni (111) substrate are also presented and compared to theoretical results giving new prospects concerning nanosize effects on reactive diffusion at the atomic scale.
I. Bezverkhyy, S. Chevalier and O. Politano
A. Portavoce et al., "Nanometric-Size Effect upon Diffusion and Reaction in Semiconductors: Experimental and Theoretical Investigations", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 323-325, pp. 433-438, 2012