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Self-diffusion in silicon – Change of a paradigm


  • Alfred Seeger

    Corresponding author
    1. Universität Stuttgart, Institut für Theoretische und Angewandte Physik, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
    2. Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Heisenbergstr. 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
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  • Dedicated to the memory of Ulrich M. Gösele (25 January 1949 – 8 November 2009)


Diffusion processes play a key role in the fabrication of semiconductor devices. For a long time the underlying mechanisms were thought to be analogous to those in metals, based on vacancies as thc dominant lattice defects in thermal equilibrium. From the mid-sixties onwards it became clear that this picture is invalid for Si, where strongly relaxed self-interstitials are dominant and responsible for self- and Group-III- diffusion. Inter alia, this change of a paradigm led to novel concepts and to the quantitative explanation of the diffusion of so-called hybrids such as Au, Pt, and Zn in Si by the so-called kick-out mechanism.