Effects of a thin Au Interlayer on the formation of low-resistivity CoSi2 on (001)Si substrate

S. L. Cheng, H. Y. Chen

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In this study we investigate the effects of a thin Au interlayer on the formation of cobalt silicide thin films on (001)Si substrate. The presence of a thin Au interlayer in the Co/Au/Co/(001)Si samples was found to decrease the temperature needed for the formation of the CoSi2 phase by about 100-190 °C compared to that needed for Co/(001)Si samples. The effect on the formation of CoSi2 became more pronounced as the thickness of the Au interlayer increased. These results are explained in the context of classical nucleation theory. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations show that both the CoSi2 surface and CoSi2/Si interface in Co/Au/Co/(001)Si samples are much smoother than those in Co/Au/Si samples. In addition, the TEM, energy dispersion spectrometry, and secondary ion mass spectroscopy analyses of the Co/Au/Co/(001)Si samples reveal that after annealing a large amount of Au atoms have diffused from the original interface position to be dispersed in the CoSi2 layers and at the grain boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8797-8803
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2008


  • Interlayer
  • Nucleation
  • Phase transformation
  • Silicide
  • Thin film


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