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Using accurate film thickness measurements, it was found possible to separate linear and parabolic terms in the steam oxidation of silicon, and thus obtain much more precise expressions for the thermal oxidation under different conditions. The combined linear-parabolic relation was found to be applicable to various crystallographic orientations. The pure parabolic “constant” obtained from this relation was the same for different crystal orientations, but the linear term in the relation was found to be very surface sensitive. By these techniques, more accurate parabolic rate “constants” can be obtained and the linearity of the log k vs 1/T plot can be extended to much lower temperatures. The activation energy of the parabolic term for steam oxidation was found to be only 16 kcal/mole. The effect of neglecting the linear term in various methods of computing the parabolic rate is discussed.
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