Ultrafast Generation of Unconventional 001 Loops in Si

LA Marques and M Aboy and I Santos and P Lopez and F Cristiano and A La Magna and K Huet and T Tabata and L Pelaz, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 119, 205503 (2017).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.205503

Ultrafast laser annealing of ion implanted Si has led to thermodynamically unexpected large 001 selfinterstitial loops, and the failure of Ostwald ripening models for describing self-interstitial cluster growth. We have carried out molecular dynamics simulations in combination with focused experiments in order to demonstrate that at temperatures close to the melting point, self-interstitial rich Si is driven into dense liquidlike droplets that are highly mobile within the solid crystalline Si matrix. These liquid droplets grow by a coalescence mechanism and eventually transform into 001 loops through a liquid-to- solid phase transition in the nanosecond time scale.

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