Recrystallization Kinetics of 3C Silicon Carbide Implanted with 400 keV Cesium Ions

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Polycrystalline 3C silicon carbide (SiC) was implanted at room temperature with 400 keV cesium ions to a dose of 1016 ions/cm2. The samples were annealed at 600°C–1000°C for times up to 48 h to observe changes in the implantation zone crystallinity and density. The implanted regions were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) before and after annealing. It is shown that the implantation resulted in a 217 ± 2 nm amorphous region with microstructural damage extending to ~250 nm below the surface. Recrystallization of the amorphous region was observed to begin at 725°C. Densification was determined indirectly through changes in the measured implantation zone thickness. Measurable thickness, or densification, of the implanted region was not observed until temperatures greater than ~800°C. The SiC recrystallization began at the interface between the amorphous, damaged region, and the underlying polycrystalline material. Image analysis was used to quantify the fraction of crystalline phase as a function of time and temperature. The recrystallization kinetics exhibited Arrhenius dependency with an apparent activation energy of 480 kJ/mol. SIMS demonstrated that 60%–70% of the cesium was retained within the recrystallized microstructure after thermal annealing.