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Analysis of Metal Silicide Thin Films

Silicidation of NiPd/Si

Silicidation of NiPD/SiMetal silicide thin films are integral parts of all microelectronics devices. They have been used as ohmic contacts, Schottky barrier contacts, gate electrodes, local interconnects, and diffusion barriers. With advances in semiconductor device fabrication technology, the shrinkage in line width continues at a fast pace.

The mapping on the left shows the silicidation of a NiPd/Si system with 5 at % Pd in Ni. Ni is shown as green, Si as blue, and Pd as red, illustrating the uniform distribution of Pd in NiSi and the segregation of Pd at the NiSi/Si interface. (Data provided by Dr. Kim, Northwestern University).

In device applications, interfacial reactions of metal thin films with silicon are rather peculiar in that polycrystalline metal film reacts with single-crystal silicon. The substrate is covalently bonded and the thin film is metallic. As a result, the microstructure of the silicide film and orientation of the substrate may play an important role in influencing the reaction.
Composition profile: silicidation of NiPD/Si systemThe plot on the right shows the ability of the atom probe to produce composition profiles at this critical interface. A proxigram calculation determines the distance each ion is from a three dimensional interface. The proxigram is the same as a normal profile calculation when the interface is flat but for atom probe data which reveals three dimensional interface roughness the proxigram is the appropriate method to calculate a composition profile. Other techniques, such as SIMS, average out the roughness broadening of the interface over a much larger analysis area (tens of microns).




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