Al2O3 (5 nm)/Si (bulk) sample was subjected to irradiation of 5 keV electrons at room temperature, in a vacuum chamber (pressure 1 × 10-9 mbar) and formation of amorphous SiO2 around the interface was observed. The oxygen for the silicon dioxide growth was provided by the electron bombardment induced bond breaking in Al2O3 and the subsequent production of neutral and/or charged oxygen. The amorphous SiO2 rich layer has grown into the Al2O3 layer showing that oxygen as well as silicon transport occurred during irradiation at room temperature. We propose that both transports are mediated by local electric field and charged and/or uncharged defects created by the electron irradiation. The direct modification of metal oxide/silicon interface by electron-beam irradiation is a promising method of accomplishing direct write electron-beam lithography at buried interfaces.
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