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Oxidation states in scanning-probe-induced Si3N4 to SiOx conversion studied by scanning photoemission microscopy

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8 Author(s)
Klauser, R. ; Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, No. 1 R&D Road VI, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan, Republic of China ; Hong, I.-H. ; Su, H.-J. ; Chen, T.T.
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The biased conductive probe of an atomic force microscope can induce local oxidation in ambience for converting silicon nitride films to silicon oxides with high reaction rate. Spatially resolved photoemission analysis with submicron resolution has been utilized to study the oxidation states of converted silicon oxide patterns in comparison with the surrounding Si3N4 layer. The core level shift of the Si 2p photoelectron peak and the spectral features in the valence band reveal a complete conversion of silicon nitride to silicon oxide at a bias voltage of 10 V, with no remaining nitrogen left. The major oxide is SiO2. The observed oxidation states of Si4+, Si3+, and Si2+ show a gradient depth distribution indicating excess silicon in the layer. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:79 ,  Issue: 19 )