In order to study the influence of strain on the formation and stability of NiSi, Ni has been deposited on strained and relaxed Si(100) n-type substrates. Strained Si substrates have been produced by depositing a pseudomorphic silicon film onto a 3000 Å thick relaxed Si0.8Ge0.2 film. Raman spectroscopy has established that the silicon film is strained. The presence of a characteristic cross-hatch pattern has been identified by atomic force microscopy. Measurements show that the sheet resistance (Rs) of the silicide formed on strained silicon remains stable up to 700°C while the Rs of the suicide formed on bulk silicon (100) shows a significant increase at 600°C. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy shows that the NiSi-NiSi2 phase transition occurs at a higher temperature and is, therefore, not responsible for the Rs instability. Scanning electron microscopy measurements indicate that islanding occurs in the temperature region of the resistivity increase. Photoelectron emission microscopy has been employed to observe the surface morphology during annealing, and islanding is not observed until a higher annealing temperature for the NiSi on strained Si. The increase in Rs is apparently correlated to the islanding of NiSi which appears at lower temperature on the bulk silicon substrate than on the strained silicon substrate. The stability of the NiSi film on the strained Si substrate is related to the strain induced by thermal expansion and the increased lattice constant of the strained Si. 1999 American Institute of Physics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)