Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 January 2011
Photoluminescence (PL) from hydrogenated silicon carbide (SiC:H) films is studied at room temperature. The films were deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor (PECVD) technique with and without substrate bias using methyltrichlorosilane as a main precursor. After the deposition the samples were annealed at various temperatures in vacuum. The films were characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The samples deposited without substrate bias (series A) were amorphous, whereas the samples deposited with negative substrate bias -100V (series B) were nanocrystalline. The one-peak (470 nm) and double-peak (415 and 437 nm) PL structures of the as-deposited samples A and B were observed, respectively. Annealing strongly enhanced intensity of PL of the samples B and trandformed PL spectrum from double-peak into broad featureless band with intensity at about 470 nm. The blue PL in as-deposited films B is supposed to be assigned to the radiative recombination in the sites located at the nanocrystallite surface, whereas the photo excitation of carries mostly occurs in nanocrystallite cores. A further increase in annealing temperature causes hydrogen effusion, which leads to an increase of the concentration of non-raidative recombination centers associated with dangling-bonds and as a result, to the quenching of PL.
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