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Published September 1980 | Published
Journal Article Open

XPS study of the chemical structure of the nickel/silicon interface


The chemical nature of the Ni/Si, Ni/Ni_(2)Si and Si/Ni_(2)Si interfaces have been investigated using x‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Peak position, line shapes, and envelope intensities are used to probe the compositional structure of these systems. Two approaches have been employed: one approach examines the advancing planar silicide front by dynamically monitoring the in situ formation of Ni_(2)Si. This has the advantage of allowing examination of a realistic interface which is bounded on either side by an extended solid. The second approach follows the development of the Si/Ni interface using UHV depositions of thin layers of Ni on Si <100>. ^(4)He^+ backscattering is used to follow the progression of the thin film reaction and to provide quantitative information on atomic composition. These experiments demonstrate that the Ni/Ni_(2)Si interface consists of a Ni‐rich silicide transitional phase while the Si/Ni_(2)Si interface shows a transitional structure which is correspondingly Si‐rich. Intensity analysis indicates that these interfacial regions are at least 22 Å wide for α‐Si substrates and 9–14 Å wide for crystalline Si. The as‐deposited Ni/Si interface cannot be described as a unique single‐phase, but rather as a chemically graded transitional region showing a composition which varies from Si‐rich to Ni‐rich silicides.

Additional Information

© 1980 American Vacuum Society. Received 20 February 1980; accepted 15 May 1980. The authors wish to thank A. Madhukar for stimulating discussions. This paper presents the results of one phase of research performed at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract NAS7-100 and the Office of Naval Research (L. R. Cooper).

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