Ultra-thin (2 nm) Si-oxide films, grown by vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) enhanced oxidation of Si at 300 K, were studied using electron spin resonance monitoring of Si dangling bond-type interface defects. As a major impact of VUV photons, large densities (up to 91012 cm2) of Pb and Pb0 centers (interfacial (Si3Si)) are observed in VUV-grown (1 1 1) and (1 0 0) Si/SiO2, respectively. Their features indicate that, as compared to standard thermal Si/SiO2, the VUV Si/SiO2 interface is under much enhanced stress. No Pb1 defects are observed in VUV (1 0 0) Si/SiO2, ascribed to lack of high temperature oxide relaxation. This may appear pertinent as to the understanding of the defects specific role in the interface structure. Microscopic understanding is provided for the known inferior electrical interface quality threatening low thermal budget oxide fabrication.
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