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    Transition from amorphous to crystalline beta phase in co-sputtered Fe Si2 films as a function of temperature

    Milosavljević, M, Shao, G, Loureņo, MA, Gwilliam, RM, Homewood, KP, Edwards, SP, Valizadeh, R and Colligon, JS (2005) Transition from amorphous to crystalline beta phase in co-sputtered Fe Si2 films as a function of temperature. Journal of Applied Physics, 98 (12). p. 123506. ISSN 0021-8979

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    A study of the stability of amorphous Fe Si2 films and their transition to a crystalline phase as a function of deposition or annealing temperature is presented. Stoichiometric Fe Si2 films, 300-400 nm thick, were deposited on (100) Si substrates by co-sputtering of Fe and Si. It was found that the films grow in an amorphous form for the substrate temperature ranging from room temperature to 200 °C, while from 300-700 °C, they grow in form of a crystalline Β-Fe Si2 phase. In a postdeposition 30 min heat treatments, the layers retain the amorphous structure up to 400 °C, transforming to the crystalline Β phase at 500-700 °C. The results are discussed in the frame of the existing models, and compared to those found in the literature. It is shown that in as-deposited films, the growth is controlled by surface diffusion, the crystalline layers growing in a columnar structure strongly correlated to the Si substrate. Postdeposition treatments induce a random crystallization controlled by bulk diffusion, the resulting structure not being influenced by the substrate. The results of this work contribute to a better understanding of the processes involved in a transition of amorphous Fe Si2 films to a crystalline phase, and provide a basis to determine the processing parameters in potential applications of this promising semiconducting material. © 2005 American Institute of Physics.

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