Direct observation of irradiation-induced nanocavity shrinkage in Si

Zhu, X. F.; Williams, J. S.; Conway, M. J.; Ridgway, M. C.; Fortuna, F.; Ruault, M.-O.; Bernas, H.
November 2001
Applied Physics Letters;11/19/2001, Vol. 79 Issue 21, p3416
Academic Journal
Nanocavities in Si substrates, formed by conventional H implantation and thermal annealing, are shown to evolve in size during subsequent Si irradiation. Both ex situ and in situ analytical techniques were used to demonstrate that the mean nanocavity diameter decreases as a function of Si irradiation dose in both the crystalline and amorphous phases. Potential mechanisms for this irradiation-induced nanocavity evolution are discussed. In the crystalline phase, the observed decrease in diameter is attributed to the gettering of interstitials. When the matrix surrounding the cavities is amorphized, cavity shrinkage may be mediated by one of two processes: nanocavities can supply vacancies into the amorphous phase and/or the amorphous phase may flow plastically into the nanocavities. Both processes yield the necessary decrease in density of the amorphous phase relative to crystalline material. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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