In-situ formation of SiC nanocrystals by high temperature annealing of SiO 2/Si under CO: A photoemission study

M. D'Angelo, G. Deokar, S. Steydli, A. Pongrácz, B. Pécz, M. G. Silly, F. Sirotti, C. Deville Cavellin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have studied CO interaction with SiO 2/Si system at high temperature (∼ 1100°C) and 350 mbar by core-level photoemission. Even for short annealing time (5 min) the signal from Si2p and C1s core levels shows a clear change upon CO treatment. Shifted components are attributed to formation of SiC. This is confirmed by TEM imaging which further shows that the silicon carbide is in the form of nano-crystals of the 3C polytype. Photoemission spectroscopy moreover reveals the formation of silicon oxicarbide which could not be evidenced by other methods. Combining these results with previous Nuclear Resonance Profiling study gives a deeper insight into the mechanisms involved in the nanocrystals growth and especially for the reaction equation leading to SiC formation. We show that CO diffuses as a molecule through the silica layer and reacts with the silicon substrate according the following reaction: 4 CO + 4 Si → SiO 2 + 2SiC + SiO 2C 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-701
Number of pages5
JournalSurface Science
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon monoxide
  • Nanocrystal
  • Photoemission spectroscopy
  • Silica
  • Silicon
  • Silicon carbide


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