Semiconductor surface diffusion: Nonthermal effects of photon illumination

R. Ditchfield, D. Llera-Rodríguez, E. Seebauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonthermal influences of photon illumination on surface diffusion at high temperatures have been measured experimentally. Activation energies and pre-exponential factors for diffusion of germanium, indium, and antimony on silicon change by up to 0.3 eV and two orders of magnitude, respectively, in response to illumination by photons having energies greater than the substrate band gap. The parameters decrease for n-type material and increase for p-type material. Aided by results from photoreflectance spectroscopy, we suggest that motion of the surface quasi-Fermi-level for minority carriers accounts for much of the effect by changing the charge states of surface vacancies. An additional adatom-vacancy complexation mechanism appears to operate on p-type substrates. The results have significant implications for aspects of microelectronics fabrication by rapid thermal processing that are governed by surface mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13710-13720
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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