Nucleation and atomic layer reaction in nickel silicide for defect-engineered Si nanochannels

Wei Tang*, S. Tom Picraux, Jian Yu Huang, Andriy M. Gusak, King-Ning Tu, Shadi A. Dayeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

At the nanoscale, defects can significantly impact phase transformation processes and change materials properties. The material nickel silicide has been the industry standard electrical contact of silicon microelectronics for decades and is a rich platform for scientific innovation at the conjunction of materials and electronics. Its formation in nanoscale silicon devices that employ high levels of strain, intentional, and unintentional twins or grain boundaries can be dramatically different from the commonly conceived bulk processes. Here, using in situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), we capture single events during heterogeneous nucleation and atomic layer reaction of nickel silicide at various crystalline boundaries in Si nanochannels for the first time. We show through systematic experiments and analytical modeling that unlike other typical face-centered cubic materials such as copper or silicon the twin defects in NiSi2 have high interfacial energies. We observe that these twin defects dramatically change the behavior of new phase nucleation and can have direct implications for ultrascaled devices that are prone to defects or may utilize them to improve device performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2748-2753
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Jun 2013

Keywords

  • Nickel silicide
  • defects
  • heterogeneous nucleation
  • in situ TEM
  • silicon nanowire
  • twin boundary

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    Tang, W., Picraux, S. T., Huang, J. Y., Gusak, A. M., Tu, K-N., & Dayeh, S. A. (2013). Nucleation and atomic layer reaction in nickel silicide for defect-engineered Si nanochannels. Nano Letters, 13(6), 2748-2753. https://doi.org/10.1021/nl400949n