The formation of nano sized Si structures during the annealing of silicon rich oxide (SRO) films was investigated. These films were synthesized by low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) and used as precursors, a post-deposition thermal annealing leads to the formation of Si nano crystals in the SiO2 matrix and Si nano islands (Si nI) at c-Si/SRO interface. The influences of the excess Si concentration, the incorporation of N in the SRO precursors, and the presence of a Si concentration gradient on the Si nI formation were studied. Additionally the influence of pre-deposition substrate surface treatments on the island formation was investigated. Therefore, the substrate surface was mechanical scratched, producing high density of net-like scratches on the surface. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) were used to characterize the synthesized nano islands. Results show that above mentioned parameters have significant influences on the Si nIs. High density nanosized Si islands can epitaxially grow from the c-Si substrate. The reported method is very simple and completely compatible with Si integrated circuit technology.
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