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A Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Study: Si/SiO2 Interface Roughness Induced by Chemical Etching

  • Jixin Yu (a1) (a2), Lequn Liu (a2) and Joseph W. Lyding (a2)


The Si/SiO2 interface roughness has received tremendous interest due to its relation to channel mobility degradation and dielectric reliability. We have used ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy to directly examine the Si/SiO2 interface and study the roughening effect caused by chemical etching. The rms-roughness extracted quantitatively from the STM topography was found to be doubled from 0.111nm to 0.232nm by the normal NH4OH/H2O2 treatment, and further increased to 0.285nm for additional etching steps. It was also found that there were no regular single steps on the SiO2/Si(100) interface.



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