Self-inhibition effect of metal incorporation in nanoscaled semiconductors
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- Self-inhibition effect of metal incorporation in nanoscaled semiconductors
- Zhu, Bin; Yi, Ding; Wang, Yuxi; Sun, Hongyu; Sha, Gang; Zheng, Gong; Garnett, Erik C.; Tian, Bozhi; Ding, Feng; Zhu, Jia
- Issue Date
- NATL ACAD SCIENCES
- PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v.118, no.4, pp.e201064211
- There has been a persistent effort to understand and control the incorporation of metal impurities in semiconductors at nanoscale, as it is important for semiconductor processing from growth, doping to making contact. Previously, the injection of metal atoms into nanoscaled semiconductor, with concentrations orders of magnitude higher than the equilibrium solid solubility, has been reported, which is often deemed to be detrimental. Here our theoretical exploration reveals that this colossal injection is because gold or aluminum atoms tend to substitute Si atoms and thus are not mobile in the lattice of Si. In contrast, the interstitial atoms in the Si lattice such as manganese (Mn) are expected to quickly diffuse out conveniently. Experimentally, we confirm the self-inhibition effect of Mn incorporation in nanoscaled silicon, as no metal atoms can be found in the body of silicon (below 10(17) atoms per cm(-3)) by careful three-dimensional atomic mappings using highly focused ultraviolet-laser-assisted atom-probe tomography. As a result of self-inhibition effect of metal incorporation, the corresponding field-effect devices demonstrate superior transport properties. This finding of self-inhibition effect provides a missing piece for understanding the metal incorporation in semiconductor at nanoscale, which is critical not only for growing nanoscale building blocks, but also for designing and processing metal-semiconductor structures and fine-tuning their properties at nanoscale.
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