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The role of entropy in the thermodynamic properties of small interstitial clusters in crystalline silicon is investigated using an empirical potential. It is shown that both vibrational and configurational entropies are potentially important in setting the properties of small silicon interstitial clusters and, in particular, contribute to the formation of “magic” sizes that exhibit special stability, which have been inferred by experimental measurements of dopant diffusion. The results suggest that a competition between formation energy and entropy of small clusters could be linked to the selection process between various self-interstitial precipitate morphologies observed in ion-implanted crystalline silicon.
Date Posted: 11 January 2011
This document has been peer reviewed.