Method of observation of low density interface states by means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under bias and passivation by cyanide ions

H. Kobayashi, T. Sakurai, Y. Yamashita, T. Kubota, O. Maida, M. Takahashi

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16 Citations (Scopus)


X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements under bias can observe low density interface states for metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) diodes with low densities. This method can give energy distribution of interface states for ultrathin insulating layers for which electrical measurements cannot be performed due to a high density leakage current. During the XPS measurements, a bias voltage is applied to the rear semiconductor surface with respect to the ∼3 nm-thick front platinum layer connected to the ground, and the bias voltage changes the occupation of interface states. Charges accumulated in the interface states shift semiconductor core levels at the interface, and thus the analysis of the bias-induced shifts of the semiconductor core levels measured as a function of the bias voltage gives energy distribution of interface states. In the case of Si-based MOS diodes, the energy distribution and density of interface states strongly depend on the atomic density of silicon dioxide (SiO 2 ) layers and the interfacial roughness, respectively. All the observed interface state spectra possess peaked-structures, indicating that they are due to defect states. An interface state peak near the Si midgap is attributable to isolated Si dangling bonds at the interface, while those above and below the midgap to Si dangling bonds interacting weakly with Si or oxygen atoms in the SiO 2 layers. A method of the elimination of interface states and defect states in Si using cyanide solutions has been developed. The cyanide method simply involves the immersion of Si in KCN solutions. Due to the high Si-CN bond energy of ∼4.5 eV, the bonds are not ruptured at 800 °C and upon irradiation. The cyanide treatment results in the improvement of the electrical characteristics of MOS diodes and solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7700-7712
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug 31
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyanide ion
  • Defect passivation
  • Interface states
  • Si
  • Ultrathin silicon oxide
  • XPS bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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