A Model for Atomic Precision p-Type Doping with Diborane on Si(100)-2×1
Diborane (B2H6) is a promising molecular precursor for atomic precision p-type doping of silicon that has recently been experimentally demonstrated [ Škereň et al. Nat. Electron. 2020 ]. We use density functional theory (DFT) calculations to determine the reaction pathway for diborane dissociating into a species that will incorporate as electrically active substitutional boron after adsorbing onto the Si(100)-2×1 surface. Our calculations indicate that diborane must overcome an energy barrier to adsorb, explaining the experimentally observed low sticking coefficient (<1 × 10-4 at room temperature) and suggesting that heating can be used to increase the adsorption rate. Upon sticking, diborane has an ≈50% chance of splitting into two BH3 fragments versus merely losing hydrogen to form a dimer such as B2H4. As boron dimers are likely electrically inactive, whether this latter reaction occurs is shown to be predictive of the incorporation rate. The dissociation process proceeds with significant energy barriers, necessitating the use of high temperatures for incorporation. Using the barriers calculated from DFT, we parameterize a Kinetic Monte Carlo model that predicts the incorporation statistics of boron as a function of the initial depassivation geometry, dose, and anneal temperature. Our results suggest that the dimer nature of diborane inherently limits its doping density as an acceptor precursor and furthermore that heating the boron dimers to split before exposure to silicon can lead to poor selectivity on hydrogen and halogen resists. This suggests that, while diborane works as an atomic precision acceptor precursor, other non-dimerized acceptor precursors may lead to higher incorporation rates at lower temperatures.