Amorphization of Silicon by Ion Irradiation: The Role of the Divacancy


Fixed fluence ion irradiation of silicon is shown to produce either defected crystal or amorphous silicon depending on the ion flux employed. The amorphous threshold flux, defined as the minimum flux required to generate a continuous amorphous layer for a fixed fluence irradiation, is measured as a function of irradiation temperature. This critical flux for amorphization is shown to satisfy an Arrhenius expression with a unique activation energy of ∼1.2eV, which corresponds to the migration/dissociation energy of the silicon divacancy. These observations lead to the conclusion that the stability of the silicon divacancy controls the competition between defect production and dynamic defect annealing, and hence the crystalline to amorphous phase transformation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. [1]

    J. Narayan, D. Fathy, O.S. Oen and O.W. Holland. Materials Letters, 2, 211 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    J. Washburn, C.S. Murty, D. Sadana, P. Byrne, R. Gronssky, N. Cheung and R. Kilaas. Nucl. Instr. Meth. 209/210, 345 (1983).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. [3]

    F.F. Morehead and B.L. Crowder. Radiation Effects 6, 27 (1970).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. [4]

    H.J. Stein, F.L. Vook, D.K. Brice, J.A. Borders and S.T. Picraux. Radiation Effects, 6, 19 (1970).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. [5]

    M.L. Swanson, J.R. Parsons and C.V. Hoelke. Radiation Effects, 9, 249 (l97l).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. [6]

    J.F. Gibbons, Proc. IEEE, 60, 1062 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. [7]

    J.R. Dennis and E.B. Hale. Radiation Effects, 30, 219 (1976).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. [8]

    R.P. Webb and G. Carter. Radiation Effects, 59, 69 (l98l).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. [9]

    F.L. Vook and H.J. Stein. Radiation Effects, 2, 23 (1969).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. [10]

    A. Leiberich, D.M. Maher, R.V. Khoell and W.L. Brown. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Ion Beam Modification of Materials, Catania. (1986).

  11. [11]

    J. Linnros, R.G. Elliman and W.L. Brown. Submitted for publication.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. G. Elliman.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Elliman, R.G., Linnros, J. & Brown, W.L. Amorphization of Silicon by Ion Irradiation: The Role of the Divacancy. MRS Online Proceedings Library 100, 363 (1987).

Download citation