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Title: In situ TEM study of the transitions between crystalline Si and nonstoichiometric amorphous oxide under bipolar voltage bias

Abstract

The electrical responses, either structurally or chemically, at the interface between a SiO2 thin film and a single crystalline Si substrate are an important research subject in Si-based devices. Dielectric breakdown-induced epitaxial migration of Si into SiO2 has been reported as a degradation mechanism in field effect transistors (FETs). Here, we show a direct observation of electric field induced conversion of single crystalline Si to nonstoichiometric amorphous oxide starting from the Si/native oxide interface using in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We further show that nanocrystalline Si can form in the amorphous oxide under a voltage bias of reversed polarity. Electron energy loss spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analyses indicate that the observed amorphization process was caused by the oxidation of Si and the recrystallization process was caused by the reduction of nonstoichiometric amorphous silicon oxide. Furthermore, both transitions are a result of field-driven directional migration of oxygen which originally comes from its native oxide layer.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  2. Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States)
  3. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division
OSTI Identifier:
1526673
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1529657
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0017839
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 125; Journal Issue: 24; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Si/SiO2 interface; amorphization and recrystallization; bipolar electric bias; in situ TEM; oxygen migration

Citation Formats

Tian, Xinchun, Ma, Tao, Zhou, Lin, Brennecka, Geoff, and Tan, Xiaoli. In situ TEM study of the transitions between crystalline Si and nonstoichiometric amorphous oxide under bipolar voltage bias. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5100310.
Tian, Xinchun, Ma, Tao, Zhou, Lin, Brennecka, Geoff, & Tan, Xiaoli. In situ TEM study of the transitions between crystalline Si and nonstoichiometric amorphous oxide under bipolar voltage bias. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5100310.
Tian, Xinchun, Ma, Tao, Zhou, Lin, Brennecka, Geoff, and Tan, Xiaoli. Wed . "In situ TEM study of the transitions between crystalline Si and nonstoichiometric amorphous oxide under bipolar voltage bias". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5100310. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1526673.
@article{osti_1526673,
title = {In situ TEM study of the transitions between crystalline Si and nonstoichiometric amorphous oxide under bipolar voltage bias},
author = {Tian, Xinchun and Ma, Tao and Zhou, Lin and Brennecka, Geoff and Tan, Xiaoli},
abstractNote = {The electrical responses, either structurally or chemically, at the interface between a SiO2 thin film and a single crystalline Si substrate are an important research subject in Si-based devices. Dielectric breakdown-induced epitaxial migration of Si into SiO2 has been reported as a degradation mechanism in field effect transistors (FETs). Here, we show a direct observation of electric field induced conversion of single crystalline Si to nonstoichiometric amorphous oxide starting from the Si/native oxide interface using in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We further show that nanocrystalline Si can form in the amorphous oxide under a voltage bias of reversed polarity. Electron energy loss spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analyses indicate that the observed amorphization process was caused by the oxidation of Si and the recrystallization process was caused by the reduction of nonstoichiometric amorphous silicon oxide. Furthermore, both transitions are a result of field-driven directional migration of oxygen which originally comes from its native oxide layer.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5100310},
journal = {Journal of Applied Physics},
number = 24,
volume = 125,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}

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