Annealing of thin B/Nb2N bilayers, B/Nb bilayers and Nb/B/Nb trilayers via rapid thermal processing (RTP)

Mertens, R.; Bock, W.; Lommel, B.; Kolbesen, B. O.
March 2008
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Mar2008, Vol. 390 Issue 6, p1517
Academic Journal
B/Nb and B/Nb2N bilayers and Nb/B/Nb trilayers of about 550 nm total thickness have been deposited on Si(100) wafers with 100 nm thermally grown oxide. Nb and B layers were deposited by magnetron sputtering. Nb2N layers were prepared by nitridation of Nb films via rapid thermal processing (RTP). The samples were annealed subsequently at temperatures between 600 and 1,200 °C in an RTP system under Ar or NH3 gas flow to study interdiffusion and reactivity of niobium, boron and nitrogen. Formation of phases was investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD); surface morphology and roughness were studied via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), respectively. Elemental depth profiles of selected samples were recorded by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Annealing of the B/Nb bilayers and Nb/B/Nb trilayers under Ar leads to the formation of Nb3B2 at 1,200 °C at the B/Nb interface. At lower temperatures the high oxygen content in the boron layer is supposed to hinder the formation of borides due to formation of glass-like boron oxides. In NH3 several niobium nitrides are formed but no boride phases. Here again the reactivity of boron with niobium is suppressed by the high oxygen content and boron oxide formation. During annealing of the B/Nb2N bilayers no borides were formed indicating that well-formed Nb2N is an effective diffusion barrier for B.


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