Corrosion Properties of Thermally Annealed and Co-sputtered Nickel Silicide Thin Films
Journal article, 2011
The corrosion properties of nickel silicide thin films are addressed by means of polarisation experiments in combination with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) characterisation before and after the polarisation runs. The thin films studied included two pairs of nickel silicide of different compositions fabricated on Si wafer by means of ion-beam sputter deposition technique. For one pair, thin films were prepared by co-sputtering Si and Ni targets. To achieve higher crystallinity, the other pair was prepared by Ni sputter deposition followed by subsequent thermal annealing at 280 °C and 480 °C to develop single silicide phase of Ni2Si and NiSi in individual film, respectively. The variation of the binding energy (BE) of Ni 2p3/2 core-level peak in the XPS measurement in accordance with the Si content for this binary system follows a Boltzmann's relationship. The electrochemical polarisation tests conducted in 1.00 M HCl solution showed almost the same behaviour for the tested specimens irrespective of structure or film composition, still, the SEM and XPS studies together with optical microscopy showed that the Ni2Si, leaner in Si, experienced thin film corrosion, whilst the NiSi appeared to be more resistant. Clearly, composition is found to be a more important design factor to tailor the corrosion properties than the structure for this binary silicide system.
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
Grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD)
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)