Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters

Epitaxial formation of a metastable hexagonal nickel-silicide

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The growth of epitaxial layers of hexagonal θ -nickel-silicide on Si(100) and Si(111) substrates is reported. They form at 370°C on Si(100) and 360°C on Si(111), from codeposited Ni/Si mixtures, containing 37 to 42 atom % Si and the equivalent of a 50 nm Ni layer. These codeposited layers model the Ni/Si mixing layer at the interface in sputter-deposited films. The occurrence and stability at room temperature conflict with the phase diagram for bulk Ni/Si. Congruent crystallization is shown to initiate the growth of this metastable phase. © 2008 The Electrochemical Society.