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Challenges of introducing quantitative elementary reactions in multiscale models of thin film deposition



The implementation of detailed surface kinetic mechanisms describing the thin film growth dynamics into models of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactors has been a challenge for many years. In this article we review the literature concerning the study of the dynamics of the Si(100)2 × 1 surface and introduce a multiscale model that captures the main features of its reactivity. The model combines the results of ab initio calculations with an atomistic description of the Si surface, obtained using a 3D-kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) model that explicitly accounts for the 2 × 1 surface reconstruction and the formation and diffusion of Si dimers on a hydrogenated surface. At the atomistic scale, we determined pre-exponential factors and activation energies of hydrogen desorption reactions proceeding through the 2H, 3H, and 4H mechanisms. The calculated kinetic constants were embedded in the KMC model and used to simulate literature TPD experimental data. The simulations were used to fit the activation energies of hydrogen desorption reactions, which showed that DFT calculations performed with B3LYP functionals are likely to overestimate hydrogen desorption energies by up to 9 kcal mol−1, which was confirmed by successive ab initio calculations. Two examples of the solution of the KMC model in conjunction with a reactor scale model are provided, in which the coupling was performed adopting both a hierarchic and a two-way coupling strategy. We found that in the plasma deposition of nanocrystalline silicon performed at low substrate temperatures the growth proceeds through a layer-by-layer mechanism on a surface almost completely covered by hydrogen. The application of the same model to the simulation of the thermal CVD of Si showed that at intermediate growth temperatures, when the hydrogen surface concentration is high, a new hydrogen desorption mechanism, in which Si adatoms play an important role, is active.

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Length scales encountered in multiscale modeling of thin films deposition.

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