Recombination activity of copper in silicon

Sachdeva, R.; Istratov, A. A.; Weber, E. R.
October 2001
Applied Physics Letters;10/29/2001, Vol. 79 Issue 18, p2937
Academic Journal
The carrier recombination activity of copper in n-type and p-type silicon has been investigated. The minority carrier diffusion length has been found to decrease monotonically with increasing copper concentration in n Si and to exhibit a step-like behavior in p-type silicon at Cu concentrations above a certain critical level. It is suggested that the impact of copper on the minority carrier diffusion length is determined by the formation of copper precipitates. This process is retarded in perfect silicon due to the large lattice mismatch between Cu[sub 3]Si and the silicon lattice and even more retarded in p Si, due to electrostatic repulsion effects between the positively charged copper precipitates and interstitial copper ions. Comparison of the impact of Cu on minority carrier diffusion length obtained with p-Si samples of different resistivity confirmed the electrostatic model. Studies of the impact of copper on minority carrier diffusion length in samples with internal gettering sites indicated that they provide heterogeneous nucleation sites for Cu precipitation at subcritical Cu concentration. Above a certain threshold of Cu concentration, the bulk recombination activity is dominated by quasihomogeneous formation of Cu precipitates, a process that is not detectably affected by the presence of oxide precipitates. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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