This paper represents a study of the local atomic structure of SiO2 films formed by thermal oxidation in dry oxygen, pyrolytic steam, and a variety of different sequences of these ambients. All oxidations were carried out at 850 °C. Local atomic structure was studied via infrared spectroscopy (IR). The growth ambient dependence of the frequency v, and half-width Δv, of the bond stretching feature, and the refractive index, n, was investigated. Consistent with previous work [1,2] it was found that.when the majority of the sample thickness was grown in steam the oxides were generally less dense than dry oxides. Also, the last ambient in a sequential oxidation process was found to have the most influence on the oxide properties. The observed variations in v, Δv, and n could be readily explained in terms of systematic changes in the bond angle at the oxygen bonding site between corner connected tetrahedra.
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