Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) was deposited with the Expanding Thermal Plasma-CVD (ETP CVD) method utilizing pulse-shaped substrate biasing to induce controlled ion bombardment during film growth. The films are analyzed with in-situ real time spectroscopic ellispometry, FTIR spectroscopy, as well as reflection-transmission and Fourier transform photocurrent spectroscopy (FTPS) measurements. The aim of this work is to investigate the effect ion bombardment with well defined energy on the roughness evolution of the film and the material properties.
We observe two separate energy regimes with material densification and relatively constant defect density below ˜ 120-130 eV and a constant material density at increasing defect density > 120-130 eV substrate bias. We discuss our results in terms of possible ion – surface atom interactions and relate our observations to reports in literature.