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In an attempt to decide the question whether enhanced oxygen diffusion is important for heat-treatments of silicon at ∼450ºC where thermal donors are formed we have conducted two types of experiments aimed at providing a measure of the “effective” oxygen diffusivity. First, we have extensively measured the temperature dependence of the thermal donor introduction rate for very short heat treatment times (20min). This measurement provides the thermal activation energy of TD formation. Since effects of long range diffusion and formation of large oxygen clusters are negligible for suchtimes and temperatures and, presumably, thermal donor formation at the lowest heat treatment temperatures is oxygen diffusion limited, it should be possible to interprete the obtained activation energy in terms of oxygen diffusivity. The change of the interstitialoxygen content is immeasureable for 20min heat treatment times. Therefore, the decay of the interstitial oxygen content was measured for longer heat treatments at 450ºC (up to 500hours). The two experiments are complementary in several ways: In one experiment the oxygen diffusion activation energy is extracted, while the other measurement provides the value of the diffusion coefficient at a given temperature. In one case thermal donors are monitored for short heat treatment times while in the other experiment the interstitial oxygen content is measured for long heat treatment times. The present measurements are different from other diffusion experiments in this temperature range where theatomic jump of isolated oxygen is monitored . Here we attempt to extract an effective oxygen diffusivity under conditions of thermal donor formation since the thermal donor formation process itself might be the cause of an enhanced oxygen diffusivity.
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