With devices shrinking to nanometric scale, process simulation tools have to shift from continuum models to an atomistic description of the material. However, the limited sizes and time scales accessible for detailed atomistic techniques usually lead to the difficult task of relating the information obtained from simulations to experimental data. The solution consists of the use of a hierarchical simulation scheme: more fundamental techniques are employed to extract parameters and models that are then feed into less detailed simulators which allow direct comparison with experiments. This scheme will be illustrated with the modeling of the amorphization and recrystallization of Si, which has been defined as a key challenge in the last edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. The model is based on the bond defect or IV pair, which is used as the building block of the amorphous phase. The properties of this defect have been studied using ab initio methods and classical molecular dynamics techniques. It is shown that the recombination of this defect depends on the surrounding bond defects, which accounts for the cooperative nature of the amorphization and recrystallization processes. The implementation of this model in a kinetic Monte Carlo code allows extracting data directly comparable with experiments. This approach provides physical insight on the amorphization and recrystallization mechanisms and a tool for the optimization of solid-phase epitaxial-related processes.
PDF: Atomistic simulations in Si processing: Bridging the gap between atoms and experiments