PtSi Clustering in Silicon Probed by Transport Spectroscopy

fig PtSi

M. Mongillo, P. Spathis, G. Katsaros, S. De Franceschi, P. Gentile, R. Rurali, and X. Cartoixà
Physical Review X 3, 041025 (2013)




Metal silicides formed by means of thermal annealing processes are employed as contact materials in microelectronics. Control of the structure of silicide/silicon interfaces becomes a critical issue when the characteristic size of the device is reduced below a few tens of nanometers. Here, we report on silicide clustering occurring within the channel of PtSi/Si/PtSi Schottky-barrier transistors. This phenomenon is investigated through atomistic simulations and low-temperature resonant-tunneling spectroscopy. Our results provide evidence for the segregation of a PtSi cluster with a diameter of a few nanometers from the silicide contact. The cluster acts as a metallic quantum dot giving rise to distinct signatures of quantum transport through its discrete energy states.


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