Inter-diffusion, melting and reaction interplay in Ni/4H-SiC under excimer laser annealing

10 Nov 2020  ·  Salvatore Sanzaro, Corrado Bongiorno, Paolo Badalà, Anna Bassi, Giovanni Franco, Patrizia Vasquez, Alessandra Alberti, Antonino La Magna ·

We investigated the complex interaction between a nickel layer and a 4H-SiC substrate under UV-laser irradiation since the early stages of the atomic inter-diffusion. An exhaustive description is still lacking in the literature. A multimethod approach based on Transmission Electron Microscopy, Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy and Diffraction (electron and X-ray) techniques has been implemented for a cross-correlated description of the final state of the contact after laser irradiation. They detailed the stoichiometry and the lattice structure of each phase formed as well as the Ni/Si alloy profile along the contact for laser fluences in the range 2.4-3.8 J/cm2. To make a bridge between process conditions and post-process characterizations, time dependent ultra-fast phenomena (laser pulse about 160ns), such as intermixing driven melting and Ni-silicides reactions, have been simulated by a modified phase fields approach in the proper many-compounds formulation. We disclose that raising laser fluence has multiple effects: 1) the thickness of the silicide layer formed at the interface with 4H-SiC expands; 2) the silicon content into the reacted layer increases; 3) a Ni2Si phase is promoted at the highest fluence 3.8 J/cm2; 4) silicon atomic diffusion into a topmost residual nickel layer occurs, with the Ni/Si ratio increasing towards the contact surface.

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Applied Physics Materials Science