Journal of Crystal Growth

Low-temperature growth of epitaxial (1 0 0) silicon based on silane and disilane in a 300 mm UHV/CVD cold-wall reactor

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Epitaxial (1 0 0) silicon layers were grown at temperatures ranging from 500 to 800 °C in a commercial cold-wall type UHV/CVD reactor at pressures less than 7×10-5 Torr. The substrates were 300 mm SIMOX SOI wafers and spectroscopic ellipsometry was used to assess growth rates and deposition uniformities. High-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to verify the atomic terrace configuration that resulted from epitaxial step-flow growth. Deposition from disilane exhibited a nearly perfect reaction limit for low temperatures and high precursor flow rates (partial pressures) with measured activation energies of ≈2.0 eV, while a linear dependence of growth rate on precursor gas flow was found for the massflow-controlled regime. A similar behavior was observed in the case of silane with substantially reduced deposition rates in the massflow-limited regime and nearly a factor of 2 reduced growth rates deep in the reaction limited regime. High growth rates of up to 50 μm/h and non-uniformities as low as 1σ=1.45% were obtained in the massflow-limited deposition regime. Silicon layers as thin as 0.6 nm (4.5 atomic layers ) were deposited continuously as determined using a unique wet chemical etching technique as well as cross-sectional high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). In contrast, epitaxial silicon deposited in RPCVD at 10 Torr using disilane within the same temperature range showed imperfect reaction limitation. While activation energies similar to that of UHV/CVD were found, no partial pressure limitation could be observed. Furthermore, layers deposited using disilane in RPCVD exhibited a large number of defects that appeared to form randomly during growth. We attribute this effect to gas phase reactions that create precursor fragments and radicalsan effect that is negligible in UHV/CVD. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.