Selective Epitaxial Si:P Film for nMOSFET Application: High Phosphorous Concentration and High Tensile Strain
This selective Si:P epitaxial process was performed using dichlorosilane (DCS), phosphine (PH3), and hydrochloride (HCl) gases in Applied Materials Centura RP Epi system. Grown highly concentrated, highly tensile-strained Si:P (called HS Si:P) films were analyzed by techniques of high-resolution XRD (HR-XRD), four-point Rs probe, SEM, TEM, and SIMS, etc.
Table 1 compares two types of Si:P epitaxial films: conventional Si:P Epi versus HS Si:P Epi. In Fig. 1(a), the total [P] by SIMS in HS Si:P epitaxial film is 1.75E+21 at/cc (~ 3 at.% in silicon), about one magnitude order higher than in conventional Si:P film, much higher than the solid solubility (~3E+20 at/cc) of phosphorous in silicon at 700°C . The 0.6 mΩ-cm resistivity in HS Si:P epitaxial film indicates that only ~1.3E+20 at/cc phosphorous atoms are electrically active. In Fig. 1(b), the HR-XRD profile from HS Si:P film shows a strong tensile strain equivalent to ~0.8 at.% Csub from a Si:CP film. We assume that majority of phosphorous atoms are covalently bonded with adjacent Si atoms in a stable Si-P compound phase –pseudocubic Si3P4 which is energetically favored relative to other Si3P4 phases . With the Vegard’s law (of linear relationship between lattice parameter and alloy concentration) applied between Si and pseudocubic Si3P4 (which has a smaller lattice constant than Si), the tensile strain induced in HS Si:P film matches well the HR-XRD data, as previously reported by Z. Ye et. al..
Fig. 2 plots out selective HS Si:P epitaxial process sensitivity to growth temperature (675-775°C) regarding resistivity, strain, and total [P]. HS Si:P epitaxial films are stable without obvious phosphorous out-diffusion in this temperature range, which is confirmed by SIMS measurements. Both total [P] level and tensile strain decrease with the increasing temperature. Meanwhile, resistivity drops from 0.7 mΩ-cm @675°C to 0.5 mΩ-cm @725°C as more phosphorous atoms are electrically activated at higher temperature.
Fig. 3 characterizes the HS Si:P film epitaxial growth on the (110) orientated substrate. The HR-XRD profile in Fig. 3(a) indicates a well-ordered HS Si:P epitaxial film grown on the (110) substrate. The TEM image in Fig. 3(b) shows a HS Si:P epitaxial film grown on (110) substrate without defects at interface, which is very significant for epitaxial growth around non-planar structures. Furthermore, Fig. 4(a) and (b) present two high-quality HS Si:P films with few defects, epitaxially grown on a planar structure and a Si fin structure, respectively.
HS Si:P epitaxial films have been studied after the millisecond annealing treatment @900-1300°C in Fig. 5. After annealing, resistivity drops from 0.65 mΩ-cm @1050°C to ~ 0.3 mΩ-cm @1150°C and above. Tensile strain in film is stable up to 1200°C. At 1250°C and above, HS Si:P epitaxial film obviously starts to partially lose the strain likely because some phosphorous atoms are released from the structure of pseudocubic Si3P4 at such high temperatures.