Index of content:
Volume 114, Issue 12, 28 September 2013
Nickel-silicon compounds, as most of the transition metal silicides, show peculiar thermodynamic and kinetic behaviours. The reason resides in the metastability of a rich variety of different phases, which are frequently favoured by the interaction with the substrate or by the limited amount of atoms available during the reactions (thin films). The large effort devoted to the comprehension of the phenomena governing Ni-Si interaction from the very beginning of the reaction process testifies the widespread interest in the field and it is driven by the need to push as far forward as possible the scaling down of micro/nano-electronics devices. Here, we provide a review on the crucial role of the early stages of the Ni-Si atomic interaction to show how this interaction has a huge impact on the reaction process and on the structural properties of the reaction products. The formation of a Ni-Si mixed layer at the deposition stage, its structure and its role in the further evolution of the reaction couple are discussed on  Si and amorphous Si substrates. Controlling the mixed layer properties becomes extremely important in a regime wherein kinetics upsets thermodynamic stability, i.e., in thin films interactions, and during low temperature and/or ultra-rapid thermal processes, as required by the scaling down of the devices. In the review, it is highlighted how the opportunity to control thickness and composition of the mixed (precursor) layer opens the field to tailor new materials possessing intriguing properties, such as the case of transrotational Ni-silicides. Compared to standard poly-Ni silicides, they offer large chemical and structural stability windows as well as a promising electrical behaviour.
Comment on “Nano-particle magnetism with a dispersion of particle sizes” [J. Appl. Phys. 112, 103915 (2012)]114(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4823813View Description Hide Description
A recent paper1 examines zero field-cooled/field-cooled (ZFC/FC) susceptibility curves for nanoparticle assemblies with a size distribution. It is explained that the “volume and number weighted distribution are equally valid for the representation of distribution functions in nanoparticle magnetic systems” and the usual modelling approach (abrupt transition from a blocked to a superparamagnetic regime, at a given temperature) is compared to the more elaborate one (the “progressive crossover model (PCM)”) introduced in our previous articles.2–4 The importance of the f 0 value is also stressed. In this article, several statements are made in opposition to some of our previously published results. Because we like to believe that these words were driven by a simple “misunderstanding” of our models and analysis, we would like to clarify some points in the present comment.