Two Paths of Oxide Precipitate Nucleation in Silicon
The coherent agglomeration of interstitial oxygen into single-plane and double-plane plates can explain the two peaks in the M-shaped nucleation curves in Czochralski silicon. The density of nucleation sites for the double-plane plates corresponds to the VO2 concentration. Ab initio calculations have shown that the agglomeration of oxygen atoms in single-plane and doubleplane plates is energetically favorable. These plates are under compressive strain. VO2 agglomeration plays only a minor role for modeling the M-shaped nucleation curves because of prior homogenization treatments. It is of much higher impact if as-grown wafers are subjected to nucleation anneals because of the higher vacancy concentration which was frozen in during crystal cooling. This results in higher nucleation rates at higher temperatures. Because the oxygen diffusivity below 700 °C is important for the nucleation rate and many controversial results about the diffusivity in this temperature range were published, we have analyzed the data from literature. We have demonstrated that the effective diffusivity of oxygen at temperatures below 700 °C which corresponds to the quasi equilibrium dimer concentration is very similar to the extrapolation from oxygen diffusivity at high temperature. The high effective diffusivities from out-diffusion and precipitation experiments, and the somewhat lower effective diffusivities from dislocation locking experiments are the result of an ongoing formation of fast diffusing dimers because the equilibrium is disturbed as the result of the strongly increasing difference in the diffusion length between interstitial oxygen and the fast diffusing dimer with decreasing temperature.
A. Cavallini, H. Richter, M. Kittler and S. Pizzini
G. Kissinger et al., "Two Paths of Oxide Precipitate Nucleation in Silicon", Solid State Phenomena, Vols. 131-133, pp. 293-302, 2008