Nitrogen bonding, stability, and transport in AlON films on Si

Soares, G. V.; Bastos, K. P.; Pezzi, R. P.; Miotti, L.; Driemeier, C.; I.J.R. Baumvol; Hinkle, C.; Lucovsky, G.
June 2004
Applied Physics Letters;6/14/2004, Vol. 84 Issue 24, p4992
Academic Journal
The chemical environment of N in nitrided aluminum oxide films on Si(001) was investigated by angle-resolved x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Two different bonding configurations were identified, namely N–Al and N–O–Al, suggesting the formation of the AlN and AlO2N compounds. The near-surface region is N-rich and AlN compounds therein are more abundant than AlO2N, whereas in bulk regions the proportions of these two compounds are comparable. Rapid thermal annealing at 1000 °C for 10 s in vacuum or in low-pressure oxygen atmosphere led to the breakage of N–Al bonds in AlN, releasing N and Al. The mobile N is partly lost by desorption from the surface and partly fixed by reacting with the network to form AlO2N. The released Al atoms, which remain immobile, react with oxygen from the film or from the gas phase. Characterization of the films outermost surfaces by low-energy ion scattering revealed that the migration of Si atoms from the substrate across the films, reaching the surface and being oxidized therein, is not entirely inhibited in AlON/Si, although this migration is largely reduced as compared to nonnitrided Al2O3 films. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.


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