Simulation of the early stages of thin SiO2 film growth
To gain a better understanding of the silicon oxidation process, we perform numerical simulation of thermal SiO2 thin-film growth. It is shown that the oxidation rate in the early stages of growth is governed by two processes: the rapid initial formation of the oxidation front and its subsequent diffusion. The resulting oxidation rate provides a rather good description of the experimental data with the minimum number of variable parameters, suggesting that the effect of external parameters (such as temperature and pressure) can be explained in terms of scaling concepts. The results of the simulation are also in agreement with the fitting of experimental data to a power law x(ox)=s+at(b) (where x(ox) is the measured SiO2 film thickness and t the oxidation time) predicted by a simple model for thin SiO2 film growth.