The co-implantation of germanium, carbon, and boron with the optimum implant energies and doses makes it possible to create p+/n junctions with the sheet resistance of less than 600 Ohm/square and the slope of less than 3 nm/decade. The narrow process window is based on careful engineering of the amorphization, point defects, and stresses and includes standard 1050°C spike annealing. The germanium pre-amorphization suppresses the ion channeling for the subsequent boron implant. The tensile stress induced by the substitutional carbon atoms and the compressive stress induced by the substitutional germanium atoms slow down boron diffusion and help to make the junctions shallower. The stress gradient in the transition region from the strained carbon and germanium doped layers to the relaxed silicon underneath creates an uphill boron flux that makes the junction slope steeper.
The optimum amount of carbon is placed in between the implanted boron and the implant damage, which is located below the amorphized layer. During the annealing, the carbon atoms capture silicon interstitials that are coming from the implant damage and form carbon-interstitial clusters. The analysis demonstrates that it is possible to capture over 95% of the interstitials this way before they have a chance to reach boron-doped layer. This completely suppresses the transient-enhanced boron diffusion (TED) and drastically reduces the amount of boron that is deactivated in boron-interstitial clusters (BICs). In fact, the point defect engineering with an optimized carbon profile allows to remove all non-equilibrium silicon interstitials that are generated by the following three sources: the implant damage below the amorphized layer, the rapid temperature ramp down, and the interstitials generated by boron at high concentrations (due to the effect known as boron-enhanced diffusion (BED)).
The latter effect leads to significant increase of the apparent boron activation level beyond the well-characterized solid-state solubility level. We explain this effect as a reduction in formation of BICs due to the lack of interstitial supersaturation. In carbon-free silicon, high concentration boron is always accompanied by the non-equilibrium interstitials, coming from either the implant damage or the BICs even if boron is introduced into silicon by pre-deposition instead of the implantation. Extensive experiments and theoretical analysis based on simulation of the interaction of Ge, C, I, and B atoms, as well as the stress effects, point to the optimized process flow that improves the shape and parameters of the p+/n USJs.