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Silicon Cluster Aggregation in Silica Layers

Fitting, H.-J.; Fitting Kourkoutis, L.; Salh, R.; Kolesnikova, E. V.; Zamoryanskaya, M. V.; von Czarnowski, A.; Schmidt, B.


Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) in combination with electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and cathodoluminescence (CL) have been used to investigate Si+-implanted amorphous silicon dioxide layers and the formation of Si nanoclusters. The microstructure of the Si doped silica films was studied by energy filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) in a 200 kV FEI Tecnai F20 TEM. The samples were amorphous, thermally grown 500 nm SiO2 layers on Si substrate doped by Si+ ions with an energy of 150 keV up to an atomic dopant fraction of about 4 at%. A thermal post-annealing leads to formation of silicon clusters with sizes 1-5 nm and concentrations of about 1018 cm-3. Respective cathodoluminescence spectra in the near IR region indicate such structural changes by appearance of an additional band at 1.35 eV as well as additional emission bands in the visible green-yellow region.

Keywords: Si ion implantation; Nanoclusters; Understoichiometric silica; Cathodoluminescence


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