Infoscience

Journal article

Low Temperature Wet Conformal Nickel Silicide Deposition for Transistor Technology through an Organometallic Approach

The race for performance of integrated circuits is nowadays facing a downscale limitation. To overpass this nanoscale limit, modern transistors with complex geometries have flourished, allowing higher performance and energy efficiency. Accompanying this breakthrough, challenges toward high-performance devices have emerged on each significant step, such as the inhomogeneous coverage issue and thermal induced short circuit issue of metal silicide formation. In this respect, we developed a two-step organometallic approach for nickel silicide formation under near-ambient temperature. Transmission electron and atomic force microscopy show the formation of a homogeneous and conformal layer of NiSix on pristine silicon surface. Post-treatment decreases the carbon content to a level similar to what is found for the original wafer (similar to 6%). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy also reveals an increasing ratio of Si content in the layer after annealing, which is shown to be NiSi2 according to X-ray absorption spectroscopy investigation on a Si nanoparticle model. I-V characteristic fitting reveals that this NiSi2 layer exhibits a competitive Schottky barrier height of 0.41 eV and series resistance of 8.5 Omega thus opening an alternative low-temperature route for metal silicide formation on advanced devices.

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