Evolution of the properties of helium nanobubbles during in situ annealing probed by spectrum imaging in the transmission electron microscope

K. Alix, M.-L. David, J. Dérès, C. Hébert, L. Pizzagalli
2018 Physical review B  
The evolution of nanometric helium bubbles in silicon has been investigated using spatially resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy during in situ annealing in the transmission electron microscope. This approach allows the simultaneous determination of both the morphology and the helium density in the bubbles at each step of the annealing. Structural modification and helium emission from bubbles of various diameters in the range 7.5 to 20 nm and various aspect ratios of 1.1 to 1.9 have been
more » ... 1 to 1.9 have been studied. We clearly show that helium emission takes place at temperatures where bubble migration had hardly started. At higher temperatures, the migration (and coalescence) of voids is clearly revealed. For helium density lower than 150 He nm −3 , the Cerofolini's model taking into account the thermodynamical properties of an ultradense fluid reproduces well the helium emission from the bubbles, leading to an activation energy of 1.8 eV. When bubbles exhibit a higher initial helium density, the Cerofolini's model fails to reproduce the helium emission kinetics. We ascribe this to the fact that helium may be in the solid phase and we propose a tentative model to take into account the properties of the solid.
doi:10.1103/physrevb.97.104102 fatcat:ymr23b674rento7zsjyylkscsa