Applied Surface Science, Vol.256, No.19, 5765-5770, 2010
Effect of deuterium on passivation of Si surfaces
A properly passivated silicon surface is chemically stable, and all interface properties are constant. The freshly etched Si surface is full of dangling bonds resulting in high surface activity and instability. Hydrogen treatment is a proper procedure to decrease the number of dangling bonds. We demonstrated that deuterium adsorbs on Si surface at room temperature much stronger than hydrogen. Moreover, in case of deuterium-passivated wafers the vacuum storage can be omitted without risking the non-controlled native oxidation of silicon for up to 5 h or more. It could be a suitable and more robust surface cleaning and passivation process for the industry, but heavy water is expensive. As a cheaper procedure, we showed that 1 min vapor phase treatment at 65 degrees C of heavy water (D2O) + 50% HF (e. g. 20:1) mixture was enough to remove the native oxide and to passivate the Si surface without any degradation of the atomic surface flatness. The surface evolution of the D-passivated surface was followed by contact angle measurements, spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), infrared absorption spectroscopy (IR), surface potential and surface photovoltage (SPV) mapping and light induced potential transient method. Qualification and the results were compared to the H-passivated, bare and native oxide covered Si surface. Our passivation test results confirmed that using D-passivation on Si surface is a promising method in the MOS technology and the interface engineering processes. (C) 2010 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.