‘‘Coreless defects’’ and the continuity of epitaxial NiSi2/Si(100) thin films

Batstone, J. L.; Gibson, J. M.; Tung, R. T.; Levi, A. F. J.
March 1988
Applied Physics Letters;3/7/1988, Vol. 52 Issue 10, p828
Academic Journal
Epitaxial thin films of NiSi2 on Si(100) have been grown by room-temperature deposition of Ni followed by a high-temperature reaction. Initial stages of epitaxy revealed by transmission electron microscopy show nucleation of crystallographically equivalent islands related by a translation vector a/4<111> via the underlying silicon substrate. Coalescence of islands thus requires the generation of a/4<111> dislocations, which is energetically unfavorable. We find that very thin films (∼60 Å) do not coalesce, but choose to remain as islands leaving trenches of exposed substrate 15±1.5 Å in width between them. We propose that the trench left between islands can be described as a coreless defect in the silicide.


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