Chemical and structural stabilities of SiNx nano-scale islands formed by ionized N2 gas at room temperature

Min Cherl Jung, Moonsup Han

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2 Scopus citations


Si-based nano-scale islands (NSIs) were formed by means of ionized N 2 gas at room temperature (RT) on silicon substrates. The chemical states of the formed samples were found to be resolved to the intermediate states of SiNx and the chemically stable state of Si 3N4 through the observation of Si 2p and N 1s core-level spectra obtained by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The height of, the lateral size of, and the inter-distance between the NSIs were estimated to be 1.4-4.2 nm, 28-35 nm, and 30-39 nm, respectively, by atomic force microscopy analysis. The height, the lateral size, and the inter-distance decreased as the exposure time of the ionized gas increased beyond 30 min. After annealing at 700°C for 60 min, the height, the lateral size and the inter-distance increased to 4.7-6.6 nm, 36-55 nm, and 58-78 nm, respectively. The chemical compositions were stabilized to the chemically stable state of Si3N4 and meta-stable intermediate states of SiNx. This long-time annealing behavior of the NSIs observed in this work is different from that in the case of thermally grown silicon nitride in nitrogen gas atmosphere in which the intermediate states and other interfacial states are rapidly destroyed during high temperature treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1130
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Chemical state
  • Ionized gas
  • Nano-scale island
  • Sin
  • XPS


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