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Radioactive silicon as a marker in thin-film silicide formation

Pretorius, R. and Ramiller, C. L. and Lau, S. S. and Nicolet, M.-A. (1977) Radioactive silicon as a marker in thin-film silicide formation. Applied Physics Letters, 30 (10). pp. 501-503. ISSN 0003-6951. doi:10.1063/1.89230.

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A new technique using radioactive 31Si (half-life =2.62 h), formed in a nuclear reactor, as a marker for studying silicide formation is described. A few hundred angstroms of radioactive silicon is first deposited onto the silicon substrate, followed immediately by the deposition of a few thousand angstroms of the metal. When the sample is heated, a silicide is first formed with the radioactive silicon. Upon further silicide formation, this band of radioactive silicide can move to the surface of the sample if silicide formation takes place by diffusion of the metal or by silicon substitutional and/or vacancy diffusion. However, if the band of radioactive silicide stays at the silicon substrate interface it can be concluded that silicon diffuses by interstitial and/or grain-boundary diffusion. This technique was tested by studying the formation of Ni2Si on <100> silicon at 330 °C. From a combination of ion-beam sputtering, radioactivity measurement, and Rutherford backscattering it is found that the band of radioactive silicide moves to the surface of the sample during silicide formation. From these results, implanted noble-gas marker studies and the rate dependence of Ni2Si growth on grain size, it is concluded that nickel is the dominant diffusing species during Ni2Si formation, and that it moves by grain-boundary diffusion.

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Additional Information:Copyright © 1977 American Institute of Physics Received 17 January 1977; accepted for publication 4 March 1977 The authors wish to thank Professor V. Guin and Professor G. Miller for their advice and assistance with the neutron activation of silicon samples in the Triga nuclear reactor at the University of California, Irvine. They would also like to thank Professor D. S. Burnett of the Department of Geochemistry, California Institute of Technology, for the use of his beta-counting equipment. J. Mallory is thanked for the skill and care with which he carried out the evaporations, and special thanks are due to Dr. A. Katzir, for the many hours he spent in helping the authors carry out the sputter ethcing of the samples. They are also thankful to Professor J. W. Mayer of Caltech and Dr. King-Ning Tu of IBM, T. J. Watson Research Center, N.Y., for numerous fruitful discussions. One of us, R. Pretorius, thanks the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research for financial support.
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:PREapl77
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ID Code:2700
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Deposited On:20 Apr 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:50

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