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Interactions of nitric oxide with Si (111) and (100) at high temperatures

Surface Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0039-6028(85)90038-x
  • Physics


Abstract The interactions of nitric oxide (NO) with the clean Si (111) and (100) surfaces have been studied at high temperatures (1220–1390°C) for NO pressures between 6 × 10 −6 and 2 × 10 −4 Torr. Growth of silicon nitride has been observed for high NO pressures P(NO) and low substrate temperatures T s, while for low values of P(NO) and high values of T s, the volatile products N 2 and SiO are formed, so that an active Si surface is maintained. The NO molecule is found to be extremely reactive with the clean Si surface at high T s, with an essentially unit probability for the production of one volatile SiO molecule per incident NO molecule. The growth of a silicon nitride film is observed to occur for values of P(NO) well below those predicted from thermodynamics. It is proposed that this result is due either to the strong bonding of N atoms to the Si surface or to the initial growth of a surface phase (Si x N y ) which has a lower free energy than Si 3N 4

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