Microstructural changes in silicon induced by patterning with focused ion beams of Ga, Si and Au

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We use focused beams of Ga+, Au+ and Si++ ions to induce local microstructural changes in single crystal silicon. The ions were delivered as single spot pulses into thin Si membranes that could subsequently be imaged and annealed in situ in a transmission electron microscope. For each ion, the focused ion beam implantation created an array of amorphous regions in the crystalline membrane. Annealing causes solid phase epitaxial regrowth to take place, but we show that the resulting microstructure depends on the ion species. For Ga+ and Au+, precipitates remain after recrystallization, while for Si++, dislocation loops form around the periphery of each implanted spot. We attribute these loops to defects formed during solid phase epitaxial regrowth, with controlled placement of the loops possible. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.