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In-situ TEM Observation of Repeating Events of Nucleation in Epitaxial Growth of Nano CoSi2 in Nanowires of Si

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posted on 13.08.2008, 00:00 by Yi-Chia Chou, Wen-Wei Wu, Shao-Liang Cheng, Bong-Young Yoo, Nosang Myung, Lih J. Chen, K. N. Tu
The formation of CoSi and CoSi2 in Si nanowires at 700 and 800 °C, respectively, by point contact reactions between nanodots of Co and nanowires of Si have been investigated in situ in a ultrahigh vacuum high-resolution transmission electron microscope. The CoSi2 has undergone an axial epitaxial growth in the Si nanowire and a stepwise growth mode was found. We observed that the stepwise growth occurs repeatedly in the form of an atomic step sweeping across the CoSi2/Si interface. It appears that the growth of a new step or a new silicide layer requires an independent event of nucleation. We are able to resolve the nucleation stage and the growth stage of each layer of the epitaxial growth in video images. In the nucleation stage, the incubation period is measured, which is much longer than the period needed to grow the layer across the silicide/Si interface. So the epitaxial growth consists of a repeating nucleation and a rapid stepwise growth across the epitaxial interface. This is a general behavior of epitaxial growth in nanowires. The axial heterostructure of CoSi2/Si/CoSi2 with sharp epitaxial interfaces has been obtained. A discussion of the kinetics of supply limited and source-limited reaction in nanowire case by point contact reaction is given. The heterostructures are promising as high performance transistors based on intrinsic Si nanowires.