Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials ( IF 6.000 ) Pub Date : 2019-02-08 , DOI: 10.1016/j.pcrysgrow.2019.01.001 Takao Abe, Toru Takahashi, Koun Shirai
It has been known that, in growing silicon from melts, vacancies (Vs) predominantly exist in crystals obtained by high-rate growth, while interstitial atoms (Is) predominantly exist in crystals obtained by low-rate growth. To reveal the cause, the temperature distributions in growing crystal surfaces were measured. From this result, it was presumed that the high-rate growth causes a small temperature gradient between the growth interface and the interior of the crystal; in contrast, the low-rate growth causes a large temperature gradient between the growth interface and the interior of the crystal. However, this presumption is opposite to the commonly-accepted notion in melt growth. In order to experimentally demonstrate that the low-rate growth increases the temperature gradient and consequently generates Is, crystals were filled with vacancies by the high-rate growth, and then the pulling was stopped as the extreme condition of the low-rate growth. Nevertheless, the crystals continued to grow spontaneously after the pulling was stopped. Hence, simultaneously with the pulling-stop, the temperature of the melts was increased to melt the spontaneously grown portions, so that the diameters were restored to sizes at the moment of pulling-stop. Then, the crystals were cooled as the cooling time elapsed, and the temperature gradient in the crystals was increased. By using X-ray topographs before and after oxygen precipitation in combination with a minority carrier lifetime distribution, a time-dependent change in the defect type distribution was successfully observed in a three-dimensional manner from the growth interface to the low-temperature portion where the cooling progressed. This result revealed that Vs are uniformly introduced in a grown crystal regardless of the pulling rate as long as the growth continues, and the Vs agglomerate as a void and remain in the crystal, unless recombined with Is. On the other hand, Is are generated only in a region where the temperature gradient is large by low-rate growth. In particular, the generation starts near the peripheral portion in the vicinity of the solid–liquid interface. First, the generated Is are recombined with Vs introduced into the growth interface, so that a recombination region is always formed which is regarded as substantially defect free. Excessively generated Is after the recombination agglomerate and form a dislocation loop region. Unlike conventional Voronkov's diffusion model, Is hardly diffuse over a long distance. Is are generated by re-heating after growth.
[In a steady state, the crystal growth rate is synonymous with the pulling rate. Meanwhile, when an atypical operation is performed, the pulling rate is specifically used.]
This review on point defects formation intends to contribute further silicon crystals development, because electronic devices are aimed to have finer structures, and there is a demand for more perfect crystals with controlled point defects.