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Atomistic Aspects of Silicide Reactions Studied with STM

  • P. A. Bennett (a1), S. A. Parikh (a1), M. Y. Lee (a1), David G. Cahill (a2), M. Copel (a3) and R. M. Tromp (a3)...


We discuss atomistic aspects of the silicide contact reaction inferred primarily from STM observations of the prototype system Co/Si(1 11). For room temperature deposition and low coverage (0.01M1) we find that metal atoms exist as near-surface interstitials within the 7×7 reconstruction. Bond breaking associated with silicide formation occurs only at higher coverages. Deposition at 320C results in flat-topped triangular islands of epitaxial CoSi2 with a metastable 7-fold (111) interface, stabilized by the lateral silicon-silicide interface along the island edges. Some islands are covered with a 2×2 array of silicon adatoms. Very high temperature annealing (1200C) results in an “impurity stabilized 1×1” surface which is in fact a lattice gas of ring-clusters that appear like tiny donuts or bagels in empty states STM images. These structures phase-separate from the clean 7×7 structure upon cooling below 850C.



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