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High Pressure Growth of Nanocrystalline Silicon Films

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Nanocrystalline silicon thin films were grown using gaseous mixture of 5% silane (SiH4) diluted in hydrogen (H2) and argon (Ar) in a radio frequency (13.56 MHz) plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique. These films were deposited as a function of pressure and were characterized using AFM, Laser Raman, UV-VIS transmission, photoluminescence and electrical conductivity techniques. AFM micrographs shows that these films contain nanocrystallites of 30–60 nm size. Laser Raman peaks at 520 cm−1 and photoluminescence peaks at 2.75 and 2.85 eV have been observed. The crystalline fraction in these films was varied from 30% to 80% with the variation of deposition pressure from 2 Torr to 8 Torr. There is an optimum pressure of 4 Torr where the maximum growth of nanocrystalline phases was observed. It has been found that nanocrystallites in these film enhanced the optical band gap and electrical conductivity. Also a voltage–current (VI) probe was used to evaluate the various electrical parameters of the plasma used to deposit the nc-Si:H films for the present investigation. Growth via a SiH3 precursor, diffusion of hydrogen in the sub-surface and argon etching of weak bonds are some of the processes that may be involved in the nano crystallization process.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2008

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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