Dual behavior of H+ at Si-SiO2 interfaces: Mobility versus trapping

Sergey Rashkeev, D. M. Fleetwood, R. D. Schrimpf, S. T. Pantelides

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We report first-principles calculations showing that protons in the vicinity of a Si-SiO2 interface can behave in two different ways. At an abrupt interface without suboxide bonds (Si-Si bonds at the oxide side of the interface) H+ does not become trapped but migrates laterally until it reacts with a point defect (e.g., depassivates a hydrogenated dangling bond). On the other hand, when large concentrations of suboxide bonds are present, H+ can become trapped in a deep energy minimum with a highly asymmetric energy barrier. Thus, large H+ densities first saturate suboxide bonds, and the balance can be cycled back and forth between a pair of interfaces by reversing the electric field. These results account for the experimentally observed dual behavior of protons at Si-SiO2 interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1841
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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