The optical properties of β-FeSi2 fabricated by ion beam assisted sputtering

C. N. McKinty, A. K. Kewell, J. S. Sharpe, M. A. Lourenço, T. M. Butler, R. Valizadeh, J. S. Colligon, Karen Kirkby, K. P. Homewood

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    β-FeSi2 has been shown to have a minimum direct band gap of 0.87 eV [T.D. Hunt, K.J. Reeson, K.P. Homewood, S.W. Teon, R.M. Gwilliam, B.J. Sealy, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. B 84 (1994) 168-171] which leads to the opportunity for Si based opto-electronics, optical communications and optical interconnects. Electroluminescence has been reported from structures containing β-FeSi2, which were produced by high dose ion implantation and annealing [D. Leong, M.A. Harry, K.J. Reeson, K.P. Homewood, Nature 387 (12 June 1987) 686]. In this paper we report the formation of β-FeSi2 by ion beam assisted co-sputtering of Fe and Si in varying percentages. The layers were deposited with a varying Fe/Si ratio, with a Si capping layer applied to prevent oxidation. Separate regions of the sample were investigated at room temperature using optical absorption, to measure the band gap values. Absorption under the fundamental edge was also analysed at room temperature. Further investigations looked at the temperature dependence of the band gap and the absorption under the fundamental edge. The results showed that a variety of Fe/Si ratios produced β-FeSi2, the formation of which was ascertained by the presence of a suitable band gap value [0.83-0.88 eV]. Absorption under the fundamental edge was shown to follow an exponential Urbach tail [C.H. Grein, S. John, Phys. Rev. B 39 (1989) 1140]. The temperature measurements are in good agreement with the Einstein model.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)922-925
    Number of pages4
    JournalNuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Band gap
    • Einstein
    • FeSi
    • IBAD
    • Sputtering
    • Urbach


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