Interface reactions between Pd thin films and SiC by thermal annealing and SHI irradiation

26 Apr 2016

The solid-state reactions between Pd thin films and 6H-SiC substrates induced by thermal annealing, room temperature swift heavy ion (SHI) irradiation and high temperature SHI irradiation have been investigated by in situ and real-time Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and Grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD). At room temperature, no silicides were detected to have formed in the Pd/SiC samples. Two reaction growth zones were observed in the samples annealed in situ and analysed by real time RBS. The initial reaction growth region led to formation of Pd3Si or (Pd2Si+Pd4Si) as the initial phase(s) to form at a temperature of about 450 °C. Thereafter, the reaction zone did not change until a temperature of 640 °C was attained where Pd2Si was observed to form in the reaction zone. Kinetic analysis of the initial reaction indicates very fast reaction rates of about 1.55×1015 at.cm-2/s and the Pd silicide formed grew linear with time. SHI irradiation of the Pd/SiC samples was performed by 167 MeV Xe26+ ions at room temperature at high fluences of 1.07×1014 and 4×1014 ions/cm2 and at 400 °C at lower fluences of 5×1013 ions/cm2. The Pd/SiC interface was analysed by RBS and no SHI induced diffusion was observed for room temperature irradiations. The sample irradiated at 400 °C, SHI induced diffusion was observed to occur accompanied with the formation of Pd4Si, Pd9Si2 and Pd5Si phases which were identified by GIXRD analysis.