Metal silicides formed by means of thermal annealing processes are employed as contact materials in microelectronics. Control of the structure of silicide/silicon interfaces becomes a critical issue when the characteristic size of the device is reduced below a few tens of nanometers. Here, we report on silicide clustering occurring within the channel of PtSi/Si/PtSi Schottky-barrier transistors. This phenomenon is investigated through atomistic simulations and low-temperature resonant-tunneling spectroscopy. Our results provide evidence for the segregation of a PtSi cluster with a diameter of a few nanometers from the silicide contact. The cluster acts as a metallic quantum dot giving rise to distinct signatures of quantum transport through its discrete energy states.
|Journal||Physical Review X|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Feb 2014|