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Stress in Hydrogenated Microcrystalline Silicon Thin Films

  • D. Peiró (a1), C. Voz (a1), J. Bertomeu (a1), J. Andreu (a1), E. Martínez (a1) and J. Esteve (a1)...

Abstract

Hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon films have been obtained by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) in a silane and hydrogen mixture at low pressure (<5 × 10-2 mbar). The structure of the samples and the residual stress were characterised by X- ray diffraction (XRD). Raman spectroscopy was used to estimate the volume fraction of the crystalline phase, which is in the range of 86 % to 98%. The stress values range between 150 and -140 MPa. The mechanical properties were studied by nanoindentation. Unlike monocrystalline wafers, there is no evidence of abrupt changes in the force-penetration plot, which have been attributed to a pressure-induced phase transition. The hardness was 12.5 GPa for the best samples, which is close to that obtained for silicon wafers.

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