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A computational model of amorphous SiCOH materials is described that will facilitate studies of SiCOH behavior under different thermal and mechanical stresses. This involved developing an atomic-scale model of an SiCOH thin film, which exhibited structural, mechanical and electrical properties in agreement with experimental studies. We developed a unique process for computationally creating the structure of SiCOH films. We created an algorithm for introducing and estimating porosity in the system, which provides detailed information about the system’s pore size distribution on multiple length scales. We used Density Functional Theory (DFT) to develop a simple correlation that calculates the dielectric constant of a large SiCOH structure based only on its atomic composition and volume. Finally, we confirmed the mechanical properties of the model using established Molecular Dynamics techniques. We verified that essential electronic and mechanical properties of the model structure reproduce experimental data for a representative SiCOH material within acceptable accuracy. We find the mechanical properties are significantly weakened by the presence of pendant carbon groups.
A new non-equilibrium Molecular Dynamics (NEMD) computer simulation method has been developed to study ultra-rapid melting and resolidification processes, e.g. laser annealing, ion implantation, etc. An atomic-level description of the material is combined with a new simulation technique to produce thermodynamic, structural and kinetic information as a function of time. Experimentally realistic values of the energy fluence, pulse duration and substrate temperature are used as input to the simulation. Rapid heat transfer simulating the action of the energy input is then set up allowing a complete prediction of the undercooling and associated kinetic properties. As such this new method offers the most realistic simulation model for rapid thermal processing to date.
The phase behavior of silicon is studied using the Modified Embedded Atom Method (MEAM) proposed by Baskes, Nelson and Wright. We find this model to quantitatively reproduce aspects of both the solid and liquid phases with an accuracy comparable to the widely-used Stillinger-Weber (SW) potential, thus providing an opportunity to examine the consistency of results obtained previously using the SW model. Although the models are very different, they both produce solid-liquid interfaces on both silicon (100) and (111) which have very similar morphologies. We find that the MEAM predicts the melting point of silicon to be 1445K, or 14% lower than the experimental value. The model also predicts the heat of melting to be 34.9 kJ/mol, 45% lower than the experimental value of 50.6 kJ/mol, and a liquid density which is 5.4% larger than that of the solid at the melting point, which is the density ratio found by experiment. The liquid density is found to be too low with respect to experiment. We also suggest a correction which might be applied to the MEAM model to improve its description of the liquid phase.
Previous attempts to simulate by Molecular Dynamics the spontaneous nucleation and growth of a crystalline Stillinger-Weber ‘silicon’ from the liquid have been essentially impossible because of constraints on system size and time scales. We have overcome these limitations by studying the related problem of the disintegration of crystalline ‘embryos’ into the liquid phase at temperatures slightly above the melting point. Molecular Dynamics simulations using the Stillinger-Weber potential were performed by embedding crystallites of 400 atoms in a liquid consisting of approximately 3600 atoms. During each simulation, the time-evolution of the size and shape of the embryo was followed until it became indistinguishable from the liquid. These simulations provide intriguing new information on the atomic processes involved in dissolution and on the macroscopic kinetics of small clusters. Comparisons of results at different temperatures, system sizes and initial configurations are shown and the implications of these cluster dynamics for crystal growth in supercooled liquids, homogeneous nucleation, and transient nucleation are discussed.
Non-equilibrium Molecular Dynamics simulation methods have been used to study the trapping of “impurities” in an Ag5B15 Lennard-Jones alloy where the B atoms are 10% bigger in diameter than A. The observation of surface melting in this system is used to calculate an equilibrium interfacial segregation coefficient. Simulations of rapid melting and resolidification were performed for the (100) and (111) orientations at two different substrate temperatures (0.65 Tm and 0.95 Tm) for each orientation. Solute impurity atoms are shown to have been trapped at greater concentrations in the solid than under equilibrium conditions. Partitionless solidification is observed when the regrowth velocity greatly exceeds the diffusive velocity.
The ultra-rapid melting and subsequent resolidification of Embedded Atom Method models of the fcc metals copper and gold are followed using a Non-Equilibrium Molecular Dynamics computer simulation method. Results for the resolidification of an exposed (100) face of copper at room temperature are in good agreement with recent experiments using a picosecond laser. At T = 0.5 Tm, the morphology of the solid/liquid interface is shown to be similar to a Lennard-Jones model. The morphology of the crystal-vapor interface at 92% of Tm shows a significant disordering of the topmost layers. Difficulties with the EAM model for gold are observed. Comparison of the Baskes et al. and Oh and Johnson embedding functions are discussed.
The equilibrium structure of a variety of Si1−xGex/Si heterostructures have been simulated by Molecular Dynamics, modeled by the Stillinger-Weber potential, to investigate the effect of strain on the surfaces of SiGe thin Alms. It was found that the strain in SiGe/Si(100) thin films was relaxed by the segregation of Ge to the surface. Rebonding of sub-surface atoms into dimers in the presence of a vacancy or cluster of vacancies above them was observed in the ensuing surface reconstruction. For SiGe/Si, the amount of “re-bonded missing dimers” in the top two layers increased with increasing Ge composition. But for Ge/Si(100), a V-shaped twinning defect was observed in the Ge thin film. To further investigate the effect of strain on surface reconstruction, bulk Si and Ge structures were also studied. For bulk Si, several rebonded missing dimers were found at the surface, while for bulk Ge(100), the surface showed a typical 2×1 reconstruction. All these findings corroborate recent experimental studies and theoretical predictions.
Molecular Dynamics simulations of the melting of small crystalline clusters (≃800 atoms) in the liquid have been performed at various temperatures above the equilibrium melting point. The melting rates as functions of size and temperature are derived and compared to that predicted by Classical Nucleation Theory. It is found that the driving force for the melting of clusters does not follow the form assumed in the theory, and that this difference is most apparent for clusters containing less than 300 atoms. The implications of these findings on nucleation phenomenon and possible sources for the discrepancies are discussed.
Experimental measurements have been carried out to determine the compositions of coexisting gas and liquid phases for binary mixtures of hydrogen with the following substances as the second component: nitrogen, carbon monoxide, argon, methane, ethylene, ethane and carbon dioxide. For most of these mixtures the entire region of gas-liquid equilibrium has been explored for the first time. This region is bounded in pressure-temperature space by the vapor-pressure curve of the heavy component, the gas-liquid critical line (where gas and liquid phases become identical) and the 3-phase region solid-liquid-gas. In all of the systems described here the latter two lines intersect to form a critical end point. The general qualitative features of these phase diagrams are described, and compared to those of helium mixtures studied earlier.
Interface response functions that govern the solidification kinetics of amorphous and crystalline phases of Si and Ge have been determined for reparameterized versions of the Stillinger-Weber (SW) potential. The strength of the three-body term in the SW potential and the energy scaling parameter were modified to obtain agreement with the experimental melting temperatures of both the amorphous and crystalline phases. These modified models were used to produce predictions of the interface response function for both Si and Ge that adequately fit the few known experimental data.
Using atomic-scale Molecular Dynamics (MD) and energy minimization techniques in conjunction with semi-empirical MM3 potential energy functions, we consider the adsorption of a C60 molecule on a series of hypothetical pentacene structures that vary only in the tilt of the angle that the short axis of the pentacene molecules makes with the underlying surface (the long axis lying essentially flat, as on a metal substrate). Important relationships were discovered between the angle adopted by the short axis of pentacene on the surface, φ1, and the adsorption and diffusion characteristics of C60. Static energy calculations show that there is a transition of the deepest energy minima from between the pentacene rows at low values of φ1 to within the rows at high values of φ1, where φ1 is the angle the pentacene short axis makes with the surface. MD confirms this trend by the predominant residence locations at the extreme φ1 values. Furthermore, MD results suggest that the C60 traverses the pentacene surface in the east-west direction for lower φ1 values (φ1 ≤ 40°) and in the north-south direction for higher φ1 values (φ1 ≥ 70°). Taking both static and dynamic results together, the most favorable tilt angles for mono-directional nanowire growth should occur between 70° and 80° off-normal.
The melting of crystalline silicon and the cooling of liquid silicon are investigated using Molecular Dynamics. Both the Stillinger-Weber (SW) potential and the Tight-Binding Bond Model are used to calculate the forces. The electrical properties are investigated using an empirical pseudopotential method with a plane wave basis. The melting point of the solid is found to be about 2300K. The dependency of this temperature with cell size is investigated. On cooling, there are changes in some of the properties of the liquid: the energy per particle decreases, the diffusion constant decreases, and the low frequency electrical conductivity decreases slightly as the temperature decreases. Between 1180K and 980K the liquid undergoes a transition to a glassy phase. There are large changes in the pair correlation function, the SW three-body energy distribution, the diffusion constant, the density of electron single particle states and the electrical conductivity. All of these changes are consistent with increased tetrahedral bonding.
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