Impact of laser anneal on NiPt silicide texture and chemical composition
We have combined synchrotron X-ray pole figure measurements and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) nano-beam diffraction to study the impact of millisecond laser anneal on the texture and microstructure of NiPt silicide thin films. The powerful use of nano-beam diffraction in plan-view geometry allows here for both a mapping of grain orientation and intra-grain measurements even if these crystalline grains become very small. With this unique combination of local and large-scale probes, we find that silicide formation on n and p doped substrates using laser annealing results in smaller grains compared with the films processed using standard rapid thermal annealing. The laser annealed samples also result in grains that are more epitaxially oriented with respect to the Si substrate. For n-type substrate, the film is dominated by (020) and (013) oriented fibers with significant levels of intra-grain bending (transrotation) observed in both types of grains. For p-type substrates, mostly epitaxially aligned grains are detected. TEM coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis was also used to study the elemental distribution in the silicide samples. Here, we confirm that laser anneal leads to a larger accumulation of platinum at the silicide-substrate interface and modifies the distribution of dopants throughout the film.