, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 507-515
Date: 21 Nov 2012

Formation of iron and iron silicides on silicon and iron surfaces. Role of the deposition rate and volumetric effects

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A thin iron film deposited at the rate of 103 nm/sec on the Si(001) surface and a sandwich structure silicon/iron/Si(111) are studied by Surface Magneto-Optic Kerr Effect, High Resolution Electron Microscopy and X-ray Photoelectron Microscopy methods. The phases present in the structures are identified. Both structures are non-uniform. The ultra-fast-deposited film is magnetically hard (H c=45 Oe), it contains the silicide Fe5Si3. The XPS line shift by +0.55 eV with respect to the pure iron 2p 3/2 level is attributed to Fe5Si3. The cross-section image of the sandwich structure shows the presence of enhanced-intermixing channels crossing the Si-rich layer. Iron atoms are the main diffusion species both at the Fe/Si(111) and Si/Fe interfaces. The nature of the volume defect and internal stresses in the transforming iron silicides and their effects on material intermixing and film growth process are discussed.