High Pressure Growth of Nanocrystalline Silicon Films
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 (V–I) 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.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-08-01
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