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Experimental Study on the Role of Hydrogen in the Breakdown of Low-Temperature Si Epitaxy

  • J. Platen-Schwarzkopf (a1), W. Bohne (a2), W. Fuhs (a3), K. Lips (a3), J. Röhrich (a2), B. Selle (a3) and I. Sieber (a3)...


Homoepitaxial Si layers were grown on Si(100) at temperatures of 325 - 500 °C by Electron-Cyclotron Resonance Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (ECR PECVD) from a gas mixture of SiH4,H2 and Ar. Ar was added in order to realize high growth rates where the breakdown of epitaxy was well observed. Si disorder depth profiles derived from RBS channeling spectra were compared with hydrogen depth distributions measured by Heavy-Ion Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis (HI-ERDA) and Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS). The results suggest that the transition from epitaxial to amorphous growth proceeds through two stages: (1) a highly defective but still ordered growth with the defect density increasing as the growth proceeds and (2) the formation of conically shaped precipitates of amorphous Si. Both regions act as an increasingly effective sink for excessive hydrogen which diffuses from the growth surface into the bulk of the sample. In perfectly grown epitaxial films, where the overall concentration of excessive hydrogen was low, the hydrogen diffusion tail was found to extend far beyond the interface into the Si substrate.



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