The composition and structure of SIPOS: A high spatial resolution electron microscopy study

M. Catalano, M. J. Kim, Ray Carpenter, K. Das Chowdhury, Joe Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The nanostructure and chemical distribution in semi-insulating polycrystalline oxygen-doped silicon (SIPOS) deposited on (001) Si and its isothermal transformation behavior at 900 °C were investigated by high resolution electron microscopy (HREM) and electron energy loss nanospectroscopy (EELS). The structure of the as-deposited film, which contained 15 at. % oxygen, was amorphous. No evidence for nanocrystalline second phases was found. It was similar in appearance to amorphous silicon. After annealing for 30 min at 900 °C in an inert environment (N2, a dispersion of small nanocrystals, identified as silicon by imaging, diffraction and EELS, formed in the amorphous SIPOS matrix, with a thin precipitate free zone (PFZ) adjacent to the Si substrate. The SIPOS matrix oxygen concentration increased to 36 at. % and the matrix remained amorphous after annealing. No other phases were observed in annealed specimens. Changes in Si-L near edge fine structure and low loss peaks in EELS spectra from SIPOS with increasing oxygen concentration indicated that it is a solid solution supersaturated with silicon. Microstructures indicated that the Si nanocrystals formed during a homogeneous precipitation reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2893-2901
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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