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In situ transmission electron microscope (TEM) characterization techniques provide valuable information on structure–property correlations to understand the behavior of materials at the nanoscale. However, understanding nanoscale structures and their interaction with the electron beam is pivotal for the reliable interpretation of in situ/ex situ TEM studies. Here, we report that oxides commonly used in nanoelectronic applications, such as transistor gate oxides or memristive devices, are prone to electron beam induced damage that causes small structural changes even under very low dose conditions, eventually changing their electrical properties as examined via in situ measurements. In this work, silicon, titanium, and niobium oxide thin films are used for in situ TEM electrical characterization studies. The electron beam induced reduction of the oxides turns these insulators into conductors. The conductivity change is reversible by exposure to air, supporting the idea of electron beam reduction of oxides as primary damage mechanism. Through these measurements we propose a limit for the critical dose to be considered for in situ scanning electron microscopy and TEM characterization studies.
We analyze phosphorus (P)- and boron (B)-doped silicon nanocrystals (Si NCs) with various compositions of silicon-rich oxide using atom probe tomography. By creating Si iso-concentration surfaces, it is confirmed that there are two types of Si NC networks depending on the amount of excess Si. A proximity histogram shows that P prefers to locate inside the Si NCs, whereas B is more likely to reside outside the Si NCs. We discuss the difference in a preferential location between P and B by a segregation coefficient.
Ta based films are important building blocks for modern microelectronic applications. To meet the requirements of miniaturization, atomic layer deposition appears to be an alternative technology in comparison to PVD and CVD. In the present paper investigations of a thermal TBTDET ALD process will be presented with emphasis to the first ALD reaction cycles on native silicon oxide and HF etched silicon surfaces. The investigations show that the substrate chemistry is a crucial parameter for the film growth and appears to be a key to control the ALD deposition. The investigations were done by XPS without any vacuum break between the deposition and the surface analysis.
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