Kinetic Manipulation of Silicide Phase Formation in Si Nanowire Templates
Y. Chen, Y.-C. Lin, X. Zhong, H.-C. Cheng, X. Duan and Y. Huang
Nano Lett. 13, 3703–3708 (2013)
The phase formation sequence of silicides in two-dimensional (2-D) structures has been well-investigated due to their significance in microelectronics. Applying high-quality silicides as contacts in nanoscale silicon (Si) devices has caught considerable attention recently for their potential in improving and introducing new functions in nanodevices. However, nucleation and diffusion mechanisms are found to be very different in one-dimensional (1-D) nanostructures, and thus the phase manipulation of silicides is yet to be achieved there. In this work, we report kinetic phase modulations to selectively enhance or hinder the growth rates of targeted nickel (Ni) silicides in a Si nanowire (NW) and demonstrate that Ni31Si12, δ-Ni2Si, θ-Ni2Si, NiSi, and NiSi2 can emerge as the first contacting phase at the silicide/Si interface through these modulations. First, the growth rates of silicides are selectively tuned through template structure modifications. It is demonstrated that the growth rate of diffusion limited phases can be enhanced in a porous Si NW due to a short diffusion path, which suppresses the formation of interface limited NiSi2. In addition, we show that a confining thick shell can be applied around the Si NW to hinder the growth of the silicides with large volume expansion during silicidation, including Ni31Si12, δ-Ni2Si, and θ-Ni2Si. Second, a platinum (Pt) interlayer between the Ni source and the Si NW is shown to effectively suppress the formation of the phases with low Pt solubility, including the dominating NiSi2. Lastly, we show that with the combined applications of the above-mentioned approaches, the lowest resistive NiSi phase can form as the first phase in a solid NW with a Pt interlayer to suppress NiSi2 and a thick shell to hinder Ni31Si12, δ-Ni2Si, and θ-Ni2Si simultaneously. The resistivity and maximum current density of NiSi agree reasonably to reported values.