The initial phase formation sequence for reactions in cobalt/amorphous-silicon multi-layer thin films has been investigated using a combination of differential scanning calorimetry, thin film X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. Multilayer thin films with various overall atomic concentration ratios and various bilayer thicknesses were used in this study. It was found that crystalline CoSi is always the first phase to nucleate in the interdiffused amorphous layer which preexisted at the as-deposited coba It/amorphous-si licon interface. The CoSi nucleates at temperatures as low as about 530 K, but does not grow until the next phase, which is Co2 Si when excess Co is available, starts to nucleate and grow. The activation energy of the CoSi nucleation was found to be 1.-6±0.1 eV.
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This work was supported in part by International Business Machines and by Hitachi, Ltd.. The authors would like to thank J. Carter for assistance in sample preparation.
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Miura, H., Ma, E. & Thompson, C.V. Initial Evolution of Cobalt Silicides in The Cobalt/Amorphous-Silicon Thin Film System. MRS Online Proceedings Library 230, 139–144 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-230-139