Journal of Materials Research


Nucleation of an intermetallic at thin-film interfaces: VSi2 contrasted with Al3Ni

E. Maa1, L.A. Clevengera2 and C.V. Thompsona3

a1 The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2104

a2 IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, P.O. Box 218, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598

a3 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


We analyze the formation of VSi2 at the amorphous-vanadium-silicide/amorphous-Si interface by linear-heating and isothermal calorimetry, and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. We show evidence that indicates sporadic VSi2 nucleation with a steady-state nucleation rate after a transient period. The results are contrasted with those obtained for Al2Ni nucleating at the polycrystalline-Al/polycrystalline-Ni interface, where the kinetics appears to be controlled by growth of a fixed number of nuclei at quickly consumed preferred nucleation sites.

(Received July 22 1991)

(Accepted February 03 1992)