Synchrotron radiation x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was applied to study the solid state reaction between praseodymium and thin silicon dioxide layers on Si(100). Nondestructive depth profiling studies by variation of the incident photon energy indicate after praseodymium deposition at room temperature the reaction of the upper silicon dioxide to praseodymium oxide and silicide. High-temperature annealing of films with an appropriate praseodymium / silicon dioxide ratio results in homogeneous praseodymium silicate films with an atomically abrupt interface. Ab initio calculations corroborate the results of the photoemission study.

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