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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Jun 25;86(26 Pt 1):5946-9.

Atomic-scale dynamics of the formation and dissolution of carbon clusters in SiO(2).

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235, USA.


Oxidation of SiC produces SiO(2) while CO is released. A "reoxidation" step at lower temperatures is, however, necessary to produce high-quality SiO(2). This step is believed to cleanse the oxide of residual C without further oxidation of the SiC substrate. We report first-principles calculations that describe the nucleation and growth of O-deficient C clusters in SiO(2) under oxidation conditions, fed by the production of CO at the advancing interface, and their gradual dissolution by the supply of O under reoxidation conditions. We predict that both CO and CO(2) are released during both steps.

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