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Formation and crystallographic orientation of NiSi2-Si interfaces

: Fuchs, Florian; Bilal Khan, Muhammad; Deb, Dipjyoti; Pohl, Darius; Schuster, Jörg; Weber, Walter M.; Mühle, Uwe; Löffler, Markus; Georgiev, Yordan M.; Erbe, Artur; Gemming, Sibylle


Journal of applied physics 128 (2020), No.8, Art. 085301, 12 pp.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
Fraunhofer ENAS ()
transmission electron microscopy; field effect transistors; crystal lattices; density functional theory; nanowires; electronic devices; interface properties

The transport properties of novel device architectures depend strongly on the morphology and the quality of the interface between contact and channel materials. In silicon nanowires with nickel silicide contacts, NiSi2–Si interfaces are particularly important as NiSi2 is often found as the phase adjacent to the silicide–silicon interface during and after the silicidation. The interface orientation of these NiSi2–Si interfaces as well as the ability to create abrupt and flat interfaces, ultimately with atomic sharpness, is essential for the properties of diverse emerging device concepts. We present a combined experimental and theoretical study on NiSi2–Si interfaces. Interfaces in silicon nanowires were fabricated using silicidation and characterized by high-resolution (scanning) transmission electron microscopy. It is found that {111} interfaces occur in ⟨110⟩ nanowires. A tilted interface and an arrow-shaped interface are observed, which depends on the nanowire diameter. We have further modeled NiSi2–Si interfaces by density functional theory. Different crystallographic orientations and interface variations, e.g., due to interface reconstruction, are compared with respect to interface energy densities. The {111} interface is energetically most favorable, which explains the experimental observations. Possible ways to control the interface type are discussed.