Applied Physics Letters

Kinetics of Ni3Si2 formation in the Ni 2Si-NiSi thin film reaction from in situ measurements

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The kinetics of Ni3 Si2 formation in the Ni2 Si-NiSi thin film reaction were determined from simultaneous in situ x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements, performed using a synchrotron source, and sheet resistance measurements. Samples consisted of 90 nm Ni100 nm polycrystalline- SiSi O2 stacks, of interest for fully silicided gate applications, on (100) Si. After initial formation of a Ni2 SiNiSi bilayer, these films reacted to form Ni3 Si2. The evolution of sheet resistance and of the intensity of XRD peaks were used to extract the fraction of Ni3 Si2 formed during ramp and isothermal annealings. A Kissinger analysis was performed for ramp annealing with ramp rates of 1, 3, 5, 9, and 27 °Cs, obtaining the activation energy of Ni3 Si2 formation, Ea =1.92±0.15 eV. A Kolmogorov-Johnson-Mehl-Avrami analysis was performed for isothermal anneals, finding an Avrami exponent of 2.1±0.2, suggesting two-dimensional growth. This is consistent with a nucleation controlled process for Ni3 Si2 formation, with nucleation sites at different positions in the thin film, and subsequent lateral two-dimensional propagation of the transformation front parallel to the film surface. Implications for Ni fully silicided gate applications are discussed. © 2007 American Institute of Physics.