Scanning probe microscopy and lithography of ultrathin Si3N4 films grown on Si(111) and Si(001)

Shangjr Gwo, Chung Lin Wu, Forest Shih Sen Chien, Tetsuji Yasuda, Satoshi Yamasaki

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) was used to study the surface structure of ultrathin single-crystal Si3N4 film prepared by thermal nitridation on an [111]-oriented Si substrate. High-resolution STM images indicate that both 8 × 8 and 8/3 × 8/3 orderings exist on the surface of the single-crystal Si3N4 film. We also found that ultrathin Si3N4 films (< 5 nm) formed by thermal nitridation or low-pressure chemical vapor deposition on doped Si(111) and Si(001) substrates are excellent mask materials for nanolithography. Local oxidation of crystalline or amorphous silicon nitride films can be reliably performed with a conductive-probe atomic force microscope (AFM) with an extremely fast initial oxidation rate (five to six orders of magnitude higher than the thermal oxidation rate at 1000°C) at a sample bias of +10V. The nanopatterned silicon nitride masks can be used for selective-area high-aspect-ratio etching and epitaxi al growth with large selectivities. Using an AFM-patterned SiO2/Si3N4 bilayer mask, selectively grown Si dots and lines of high crystalline perfection were successfully obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4368-4372
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number6 B
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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