Thermal decomposition of ZrO[sub 2]/SiO[sub 2] bilayer on Si(001) caused by void nucleation and its lateral growth

Watanabe, Heiji; Ikarashi, Nobuyuki
January 2002
Applied Physics Letters;1/28/2002, Vol. 80 Issue 4, p559
Academic Journal
The stability of a ZrO[sub 2]/SiO[sub 2] bilayer on a Si(001) substrate was investigated in terms of thermal decomposition during ultrahigh-vacuum annealing. In spite of the intrinsic thermal stability of the ZrO[sub 2]/SiO[sub 2] system, void nucleation initiated by local defects and the following lateral growth of the voids proceed at temperatures over 900 °C. The remaining Zr atoms accumulate and react with the Si substrate to form silicide (ZrSi[sub 2]) islands within the voids. It was found that the decomposition temperature of the ZrO[sub 2]/SiO[sub 2] bilayer is lower than that of a SiO[sub 2] single layer, which suggests defect generation in the SiO[sub 2] underlayer by ZrO[sub 2] deposition. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.


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