Defect structure of SiNx : H films and its evolution with annealing temperature

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The structure of defects of SiNx:H films is investigated by electron-spin resonance. It is found that a relaxation process takes place at annealing temperatures below 600 degrees C for those compositions in which the nitrogen-to-silicon ratio is above the percolation threshold of the Si-Si bonds in the nitride lattice. The nature of this process is discussed and attributed to a thermally activated charge transfer between metastable defects. No such relaxation occurs in the films with a composition below the percolation threshold, possibly due to a positive correlation energy and a structural lack of flexibility. For higher annealing temperatures, an increase of the defect density is observed and associated with the thermal release of hydrogen. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-8979(00)00516-8].
© American Institute of Physics. This work was financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science (Grant No. TIC98/0740) and given technical assistance by the "Implantación Iónica" research support center of the University of Madrid.
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