N 2-plasma nitridation on Si(111): Its effect on crystalline silicon nitride growth

Chung Lin Wu, Wei Sheng Chen, Ying Hung Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study uses a combination of atom-resolved scanning tunneling microscopic and spectroscopic (STM/STS) techniques to investigate the effects of N 2-plasma nitridation on a crystalline β-Si 3N 4 ultrathin film grown on the Si(111) substrate. The proposed two-step growth process, including N 2-plasma nitridation followed by vacuum annealing both at high temperature (∼ 900 °C), can substantially improve the atomic and electronic structures of the β-Si 3N 4 having an atomically uniform morphology and stoichiometry. The effects of nitridation and post-annealing temperatures were examined by monitoring the morphological and electronic-structural evolutions of a non-stoichiometric surface. Moreover, the two-step N 2-plasma nitridation process has extremely low activation energy and thus minimizes the thermal energy from the substrate for practical growth of β-Si 3N 4 ultrathin film.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L51-L54
JournalSurface Science
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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