We report measurements of the infrared spectrum detected by modulating the reverse-bias voltage across amorphous silicon pin solar cells and Schottky barrier diodes. We find a band with a peak energy of 0.8 eV. The existence of this band has not, to our knowledge, been reported previously. The strength of the infrared band depends linearly upon applied bias, as opposed to the quadratic dependence for interband electroabsorption in amorphous silicon.
The band's peak energy agrees fairly well with the known optical transition energies for dangling bond defects, but the linear dependence on bias and the magnitude of the signal are surprising if interpreted using an analogy to interband electroabsorption. A model based on absorption by defects near the n/i interface of the diodes accounts well for the infrared spectrum.