Epitaxy and Chemical Reactions During Thin Film Formation from Low Energy Ions New Kinetic Pathways, New Phases and New Properties


Three important effects of low energy direct Ion Beam Deposition (IBD) are the athermal incorporation of material into a substrate, the enhancement of atomic mobility in the subsurface, and the modification of growth kinetics it creates. All lead to a significant lowering of the temperature necessary to induce epitaxial growth and chemical reactions. The fundamental understanding and new applications of low temperature kinetics induced by low energy ions in thin film growth and surface processing of semiconductors are reviewed. It is shown that the mechanism of IBD growth can be understood and computed quantitatively using a simple model including ion induced defect generation and sputtering, elastic recombination, thermal diffusion, chemical reactivity, and desorption The energy, temperature and dose dependence of growth rate, epitaxy, and chemical reaction during IBD is found to be controlled by the net recombination rate of interstitials at the surface in the case of epitaxy and unreacted films, and by the balance between ion beam decomposition and phase formation induced by ion beam generated defects in the case of compound thin films. Recent systematic experiments on the formation of oxides and nitrides on Si, Ge/Si(100), heteroepitaxial SixGe1-x/Si(100) and GaAs(100) illustrate applications of this mechanism using IBD in the form of Ion Beam Nitridation (IBN), Ion Beam Oxidation (IBO) and Combined Ion and Molecular beam Deposition (CIMD). It is shown that these techniques enable (1) the formation of conventional phases in conditions never used before, (2) the control and creation of properties via new degrees of freedom such as ion energy and lowered substrate temperatures, and (3) the formation of new metastable heterostructures that cannot be grown by pure thermal means.

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The contribution of Dr R.J. Culbertson while he was at the US Army Materials Technology Laboratory and the technical assistance of W. Kosik in running and maintaining the US MTL accelerator are gratefully acknowledged. So is Dr W.J. Croft’s support with the microscopy facility at MTL. Also the support of several sponsors has made this work possible: IBM Corporation, AT&T Corporation, the MIT Carl Soderbergh Fund, the National Science Foundation under contract #87-19217-DMR, and partial support from the Petroleum Research fund administered through the American Chemical Society under contract 21508- ACS. It is also a pleasure to acknowledge the contribution of H. Manoharan, while he was visiting from Princeton on a MPC summer fellowship, M. Thayer also on a MPC summer fellowship and W. J. Tan, D. Lim, M. B. Scrichai, S. Tung who worked on this project under the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at MIT. J.L. Olson and M. T. Ahrens both completed an undergraduate thesis on this project and are also acknowledged.

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Herbots, N., Hellman, O. & Vancauwenberghe, O. Epitaxy and Chemical Reactions During Thin Film Formation from Low Energy Ions New Kinetic Pathways, New Phases and New Properties. MRS Online Proceedings Library 236, 287–300 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-236-287

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