Formation and structure of epitaxial NiSi2 and CoSi2

L. J. Chen*, J. W. Mayer, King-Ning Tu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Transmission electron microscopy has been applied to study the formation and structure of epitaxial NiSi2 and CoSi2 thin films on silicon. Bright field and dark field imaging reveal the interface planes of faceted silicides through the strain contrast, analogous to the contrast of the precipitate-matrix interface of coherent or semicoherent precipitates. Superlattice dark field imaging depicts the distribution of twin-related and epitaxial silicides in these systems. {111} interfaces were found to be more prominent than {001} interfaces. Twin-related silicides were observed to cover more area on the substrate silicon than epitaxial silicides did. In situ annealing of nickel and cobalt thin films on silicon provides a unique means of investigation of the transformation from polycrystalline to epitaxial silicides. The NiSi2 transformation was found to be very rapid at 820°C, whereas the CoSi2 transformation appeared to be very sluggish. Furnace annealing confirmed that only a small fraction of CoSi2 transforms to epitaxial CoSi2 after annealing at 850°C for 4 h. Diffraction contrast analysis has been applied to interfacial dislocations of epitaxial NiSi2/Si and CoSi2/Si systems. The dislocations were found to be of edge type with 1 6〈112〉 and 1 2〈110〉 Burgers' vectors. The average spacings are close to their respective theoretically predicted values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 9 Jul 1982


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