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Epitaxial Growth Following Crystal Nucleation in Laser-Quenched Si Films on SiO2

  • Vernon K. Wong (a1), A. M. Chitu (a1), A. B. Limanov (a1) and James S. Im (a1)

Abstract

We have investigated the solidified microstructure of nucleation-generated grains obtained via complete melting of Si films on SiO2 at high nucleation temperatures. This was achieved using a high-temperature-capable hot stage in conjunction with excimer laser irradiation. As predicted by the direct-growth model that considers (1) the evolution in the temperature of the solidifying interface and (2) the subsequent modes of growth (consisting of amorphous, defective, and epitaxial) as key factors, we were able to observe the appearance of “normal” grains that possess a single-crystal core area. These grains, which are in contrast to previously reported flower-shaped grains that fully make up the microstructure of the solidified films obtained via irradiation at lower preheating temperatures (and amongst which these “normal” grains emerge), indicate that epitaxial growth of nucleated crystals must have taken place within the grains. We discuss the implications of our findings regarding (1) the validity of the direct-growth model, (2) the nature of the heterogeneous nucleation mechanism, and (3) the alternative explanations and assumptions that have been previously employed in order to explain the microstructure of Si films obtained via nucleation and growth within the complete melting regime.

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Keywords

Epitaxial Growth Following Crystal Nucleation in Laser-Quenched Si Films on SiO2

  • Vernon K. Wong (a1), A. M. Chitu (a1), A. B. Limanov (a1) and James S. Im (a1)

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