Metal films such as gold, copper, nickel and palladium exhibit an interfacial intermixing reaction at room temperature with semiconductors with energy gaps Eg less than about 2.5 eV or dielectric constants ε larger than about 81. We have proposed a model2 of the triggering mechanism of this interfacial reaction based on the ability of a metal to screen coulombic interaction by its mobile free electrons. Such a screening may disturb the electron distribution responsible for the covalent bonding, and consequently it may make the semiconductor surface reactive towards the metal. In this respect, there must be a critical film thickness for the deposited metal film to behave as a true metal with sufficient mobile free electrons for the screening; therefore the reactivity of the semiconductor surface for the intermixing reaction must be dependent on the thickness of the deposited metal film. In favour of the screening model, we show that the reactivity of a silicon surface for intermixing or silicide formation with a gold or palladium film depends clearly on the film thickness.