Silver crystals at the interface of silver thick film contacts carry the current across such contacts and therefore govern the contact resistance. The crystals grow nearly exclusively in pits in the silicon surface, which form during contact formation before the crystals and hence determine the amount and size of crystals. We simulate the mechanism of pit formation at such contact interfaces by using a model based on the removal probability of silicon surface atoms. The model leads to good agreement between experimentally observed and simulated pits. The results enable the prediction of pit formation in dependence of contact processing parameters
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