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Title: Atomistic Simulations on the Thermal Stability of the Antisite Pair in 3C- and 4H-SiC

Abstract

The thermal stability of the first-neighbor antisite pair configurations in 3C- and 4H-SiC is investigated by a comprehensive atomistic study. At first the structure and energetics of these defects is determined in order to check the accuracy of the Gao-Weber interatomic potential used. The results are comparable with literature data obtained by the density-functional theory. Then, the lifetime of the antisite pair configurations is calculated for temperatures between 800 and 2500 K. Both in 3C- and 4H-SiC the thermal stability of the antisite pairs is rather low. In contrast to previous theoretical interpretations, the antisite pair can be therefore not correlated with the DI photoluminescence center that is stable to above 2000 K. The atomic mechanisms during the recombination of the antisite pair in 3C-SiC and of three antisite pair configurations in 4H-SiC is a modified concerted exchange. Due to the different sizes of the silicon and the carbon atoms, this process is not identical with the concerted exchange in Si. Two intermediate metastable configurations found during the recombination are similar to the bond defect in Si. Since the SiC lattice contains two types of atoms, there are also two different types of bond defects. The two bond defects canmore » be considered as the result of the incomplete recombination of a carbon vacancy and a neighboring mixed dumbbell interstitial. For selected temperatures the thermal stability of the antisite pair in 3C-SiC is investigated by molecular dynamics simulations that are based on the density-functional theory. Their results are very similar to those of the atomistic study, i.e. the Gao-Weber potential describes the antisite pair and its recombination reasonably well. The antisite pair in 4H-SiC with the two atoms on hexagonal sites has a slightly different formation energy than the other three antisite pair configurations in 4H-SiC. Its lifetime shows another dependence on the temperature, and its recombination is characterized by a separate motion of atoms.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
881095
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-48239
8208; KC0201020; TRN: US200612%%701
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter; Journal Volume: 73; Journal Issue: 12
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; SILICON CARBIDES; CARBON; CRYSTAL DEFECTS; PHOTOLUMINESCENCE; RECOMBINATION; STABILITY; THERMODYNAMIC PROPERTIES; HYDRIDES; Antisite pair; computer simulatiuon; SiC; thermal stability; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

Citation Formats

Posselt, Matthias, Gao, Fei, and Weber, William J. Atomistic Simulations on the Thermal Stability of the Antisite Pair in 3C- and 4H-SiC. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.73.125206.
Posselt, Matthias, Gao, Fei, & Weber, William J. Atomistic Simulations on the Thermal Stability of the Antisite Pair in 3C- and 4H-SiC. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.73.125206.
Posselt, Matthias, Gao, Fei, and Weber, William J. Fri . "Atomistic Simulations on the Thermal Stability of the Antisite Pair in 3C- and 4H-SiC". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.73.125206.
@article{osti_881095,
title = {Atomistic Simulations on the Thermal Stability of the Antisite Pair in 3C- and 4H-SiC},
author = {Posselt, Matthias and Gao, Fei and Weber, William J.},
abstractNote = {The thermal stability of the first-neighbor antisite pair configurations in 3C- and 4H-SiC is investigated by a comprehensive atomistic study. At first the structure and energetics of these defects is determined in order to check the accuracy of the Gao-Weber interatomic potential used. The results are comparable with literature data obtained by the density-functional theory. Then, the lifetime of the antisite pair configurations is calculated for temperatures between 800 and 2500 K. Both in 3C- and 4H-SiC the thermal stability of the antisite pairs is rather low. In contrast to previous theoretical interpretations, the antisite pair can be therefore not correlated with the DI photoluminescence center that is stable to above 2000 K. The atomic mechanisms during the recombination of the antisite pair in 3C-SiC and of three antisite pair configurations in 4H-SiC is a modified concerted exchange. Due to the different sizes of the silicon and the carbon atoms, this process is not identical with the concerted exchange in Si. Two intermediate metastable configurations found during the recombination are similar to the bond defect in Si. Since the SiC lattice contains two types of atoms, there are also two different types of bond defects. The two bond defects can be considered as the result of the incomplete recombination of a carbon vacancy and a neighboring mixed dumbbell interstitial. For selected temperatures the thermal stability of the antisite pair in 3C-SiC is investigated by molecular dynamics simulations that are based on the density-functional theory. Their results are very similar to those of the atomistic study, i.e. the Gao-Weber potential describes the antisite pair and its recombination reasonably well. The antisite pair in 4H-SiC with the two atoms on hexagonal sites has a slightly different formation energy than the other three antisite pair configurations in 4H-SiC. Its lifetime shows another dependence on the temperature, and its recombination is characterized by a separate motion of atoms.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevB.73.125206},
journal = {Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter},
number = 12,
volume = 73,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 31 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Mar 31 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}
  • Knowledge of the migration of intrinsic point defects is crucial to understand defect recovery, various annealing stages and microstructural evolution after irradiation or ion implantation. Molecular dynamics (MD) and the nudged-elastic band method have been applied to investigate long-range migration of point defects in SiC over the temperature range from 0.36 to 0.95 Tm , and the defect diffusion coefficient, activation energy and defect correlation factor have been determined. The results show that the activation energies for C and Si interstitials in 3C-SiC are about 0.74 and 1.53 eV, respectively, while it is about 0.77 eV for a C interstitialmore » in 4H-SiC. The minima energy paths reveal that the activation energies for C and Si vacancies are about 4.1 and 2.35 eV, respectively. Finally, the results are discussed and compared with experimental observations and available ab initio data.« less
  • Molecular dynamics (MD) methods have been employed to study the epitaxail recrystallization and amorphous-to-crystalline (a-c) transition in 4H-SiC, with simulation times of up to a few hundred ns and at temperatures of 1500 and 2000 K. Three nano-sized amorphous layers with the normal of a-c interfaces along the [-12-10 ], [-1010] and [0001] directions, respectively, were created within a crystalline cell to investigate the anisotropies of recrystallization processes. The recovery of bond defects at the interfaces is an important process driving the initial epitaxial recrystallization of the amorphous layers. The amorphous layers with the a-c interface normal along the [-12-10]more » direction can be completely recrystallized at the temperatures of 1500 and 2000 K, and along the [0001] direction at 2000 K. However, the recrystallized region is defected with dislocations and stacking faults. The temperatures required for complete recrystallization are in good agreement with those observed in experiments. On the other hand, the recrystallization processes for the a-c interface normal along [-1010] direction are hindered by the nucleation of polycrystalline phases. These secondary ordered phases have been identified as 4H- and 3C-SiC with different crystallographic orientations to the original 4H-SiC. The bond mismatches at the interfaces between different microcrystals result in the formation of a number of stacking faults. The temperature is an important parameter to control the nucleation of the secondary ordered phase, whereas the size of amorphous region has a significant effect on their growth. These results are in good agreement with the previous experimental observations.« less
  • Synchrotron white beam x-ray topography (SWBXT) and Nomarski optical microscopy (NOM) have been used to characterize 4H-SiC epilayers and to study the character of triangular inclusions therein. 4H-SiC substrates misoriented by a range of angles from (0001), as well as (1 1{bar 0}0) and (11 2{bar 0}) oriented substrates were used. No evidence was found for the nucleation of 3C-SiC inclusions at superscrew dislocations (along the [0001] axis) in the 4H-SiC substrates. Increasing the off-axis angle of the substrates from 3.5 to 6.5{degree} was found to greatly suppress the formation of the triangular inclusions. In the case of substrates misorientedmore » by 8.0{degree} from (0001) toward [112{bar 0}], the triangular inclusions were virtually eliminated. The crystalline quality of 4H-SiC epilayers grown on the substrates misoriented by 8.0{degree} from (0001) was very good. For the (11{bar 0}0) and (112{bar 0}) samples, there is no indication of 3C-SiC inclusions in the epilayers. Possible formation mechanisms and the morphology of 3C-SiC inclusions are discussed. 17 refs., 13 figs.« less
  • This paper deals with the positive identification by low-temperature photoluminescence microspectroscopy of the two spin states of the dicarbon antisites in 4H-SiC. The defects are created by high-dose electron irradiation at room temperature or by subsequent exposure to intense 325 nm radiation at temperatures up to 1300 deg. C. Identification was achieved by their formation and annealing characteristics, by the energies of their local vibrational modes, by the nature of their splitting in {sup 13}C isotope enriched samples, and by comparison with published results of ab initio local density approximation calculations. Four related but different forms of this defect havemore » been predicted, two with S=0 and two with S=1, and their calculated properties are consistent with the experimental results presented here. The excitation processes for the optical centers within the irradiated region are quite unusual. For a 488 nm laser excitation, both spin states of the defect are observed by up-conversion. For a 325 nm excitation, the optical centers are only observed at the periphery of the high-dose irradiated regions after the sample has been exposed to an intense 325 nm beam. In this case, the optical centers are mainly in the S=0 state. The centers are eliminated by annealing in the range of 800-950 deg. C.« less