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Si amorphization by focused ion beam milling: Point defect model with dynamic BCA simulation and experimental validation

: Huang, J.; Löffler, Markus; Mühle, Uwe; Möller, Wolfhard; Mulders, Johannes J.L.; Kwakman, Laurens; Dorp, Willem F. van; Zschech, Ehrenfried


Ultramicroscopy 184 (2018), Pt.B, pp.52-56
ISSN: 0304-3991
ISSN: 1879-2723
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
16ES0066; MaKiZu
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IKTS ()

A Ga focused ion beam (FIB) is often used in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis sample preparation. In case of a crystalline Si sample, an amorphous near-surface layer is formed by the FIB process. In order to optimize the FIB recipe by minimizing the amorphization, it is important to predict the amorphous layer thickness from simulation. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation has been used to describe the amorphization, however, it is limited by computational power for a realistic FIB process simulation. On the other hand, Binary Collision Approximation (BCA) simulation is able and has been used to simulate ion-solid interaction process at a realistic scale. In this study, a Point Defect Density approach is introduced to a dynamic BCA simulation, considering dynamic ion-solid interactions. We used this method to predict the c-Si amorphization caused by FIB milling on Si. To validate the method, dedicated TEM studies are performed. It shows that the amorphous layer thickness predicted by the numerical simulation is consistent with the experimental data. In summary, the thickness of the near-surface Si amorphization layer caused by FIB milling can be well predicted using the Point Defect Density approach within the dynamic BCA model.