An ultrathin Ni interlayer (∼1 nm) was introduced between a TaN-capped Er film and a Si substrate to prevent the formation of surface defects during thermal Er silicidation. A nickel silicide interfacial layer formed at low temperatures and incurred uniform nucleation and the growth of a subsequently formed erbium silicide film, effectively inhibiting the generation of recessed-type surface defects and improving the surface roughness. As a side effect, the complete transformation of Er to erbium silicide was somewhat delayed, and the electrical contact property at low annealing temperatures was dominated by the nickel silicide phase with a high Schottky barrier height. After high-temperature annealing, the early-formed interfacial layer interacted with the growing erbium silicide, presumably forming an erbium silicide-rich Er-Si-Ni mixture. As a result, the electrical contact property reverted to that of the low-resistive erbium silicide/Si contact case, which warrants a promising source/drain contact application for future high-performance metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)