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GaN layers were grown on c-plane sapphire substrates by using a conventional two step growth method via metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). The effect of different growth conditions used in the deposition of the low temperature nucleation layer and high temperature islands on the crystalline quality of the GaN layers was investigated by high resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The polar (tilt) and azimuthal (twist) spread were estimated from the full width at half maximum (FWHM) values of the omega rocking curves (¥ø-RCs) recorded from the planes parallel and perpendicular to the sample surface. It was found from the XRD and TEM study that the edge and mixed type threading dislocations are dominant defects so that the relevant figure of merit (FOM) for the crystalline quality should be considered only by the FWHM value of ¥ø-RC of the surface perpendicular plane. The result showed that the mixed- and edge-types dislocations were strongly associated with the growth conditions used in the deposition of the nucleation layer and high temperature islands.
Rapid thermal annealing (RTA), with fast ramp up and down rates, was performed on several Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) films and solar cells under various peak annealing temperatures and holding times. The XRD, SEM, Hall- effect, photo J-V, and quantum efficiency (Q-E) measurements were made on CIGS films and cells before and after RTA treatments to study the effects of RTA on the CIGS film properties and cell performance. The results show that RTA treatments under optimal annealing condition can provide significant improvements in the electrical properties (resistivity, carrier concentration, and mobility) of CIGS films and cell performance while preserving the film composition and microstructure morphology.
The relaxation process of strained silicon films on silicon-rich relaxed SiGe alloys has been studied. Experimental structures were grown via Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) growth techniques and contain a strained silicon capping layer approximately 50 nm thick. The relaxed SiGe alloy compositions range from 0 to 30 at.% germanium. A 12 keV Si+ implant at a dose of 1×1015 atoms/cm2 was used to generate an amorphous layer ∼30 nm thick, which was confined within the strained silicon capping layer. Upon annealing at 500 °C, it was found that the solid phase epitaxial regrowth process of the amorphous silicon breaks down for high strain levels and regrowth related defects were observed in the regrown layer. In addition, high-resolution X-Ray diffraction results indicate a reduction in strain for the silicon capping layer. This study addresses the critical strain regime necessary for the breakdown of solid phase epitaxial recrystallization in silicon.
The relationships between Boron Interstitial Cluster (BIC) evolution and boron diffusion in relaxed Si0.8Ge0.2 have been investigated. Structures were grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) with surface boron wells of variant composition extending 0.25 [.proportional]m into the substrate, as well as boron marker layers positioned 0.50 [.proportional]m below the surface. The boron well concentrations are as follows: 0, 7.5×1018, 1.5×1019, and 5.0×1019 atoms/cm3. The boron marker layers are approximately 3 nm wide and have a peak concentration of 5×1018 atoms/cm3. Samples were ion implanted with 60 keV Si+ at a dose of 1×1014 atoms/cm2 and subsequently annealed at 675°C and 750°C for various times. Plan-view Transmission Electron Microscopy (PTEM) was used to monitor the agglomeration of injected silicon interstitials and the evolution of extended defects in the near surface region. Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) concentration profiles facilitated the characterization of boron diffusion behaviors during annealing. Interstitial supersaturation conditions and the resultant defect structures of ion implanted relaxed Si0.8Ge0.2 in both the presence and absence of boron have been characterized.
The reduction in cathodoluminescent (CL) degradation of ZnS:Ag phosphor particles coated with aluminum doped zinc oxide (ZAO) films has been investigated. The films were deposited under various oxygen pressures using the atomic flux coating process. The characteristics of the coated phosphor particles with respect to as-received ones were investigated by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, CL degradation and scanning electron microscopy. All coated phosphor particles exhibited less CL degradation than the uncoated particles. The coatings deposited under 1.6×10-4 Torr of oxygen, a pressure much lower than the optimum one required to obtain highly transparent and conductive ZnO:Al films, provided the longest brightness lifetime. This increased phosphors lifetime was attributed to the high reactivity of the oxygen deficient ZAO coatings which acted as a sacrificial layer and trapped reactive species before they can reach the phosphor particles and alter their chemical composition.
Hf metal thin films were deposited on Si substrates using a pulsed laser deposition technique in vacuum and in ammonia ambients. The films were then oxidized at 400 °C in 300 Torr of O2. Half the samples were oxidized in the presence of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from a Hg lamp array. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and grazing angle X-ray diffraction were used to compare the crystallinity, roughness, and composition of the films. It has been found that UV radiation causes roughening of the films and also promotes crystallization at lower temperatures.Furthermore, increased silicon oxidation at the interface was noted with the UVirradiated samples and was shown to be in the form of a mixed layer using angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Incorporation of nitrogen into the film reduces the oxidation of the silicon interface.
ZnO films were deposited by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) onto silicon substrates to serve as a buffer layer for GaN films grown by MOCVD. A ZnO buffer layer was found to improve the quality of GaN grown on Si. The thermal stability of ZnO as a buffer layer was also examined. It was determined that exposure of ZnO/Si to NH3 at high temperature (> 600°C) results in the decomposition of ZnO and subsequent poor nucleation of GaN. The ZnO layer thickness on GaN quality was found to be important.
ZrC thin films were grown on Si substrates by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. X- ray photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction and reflectivity, variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry, and four point probe measurements were used to investigate the composition, density, thickness, surface morphology, optical and electrical properties of the grown structures. It has been found that crystalline films could be grown only by using fluences above 6 J/cm2 and substrate temperatures in excess of 500 °C. For a fluence of 10 J/cm2 and a substrate temperature of 700 °C, highly (100)-textured ZrC films exhibiting a cubic structure (a=0.469 nm) and a density of 6.7 g/cm3 were deposited. The use of a low-pressure atmosphere of C2H2 had a beneficial effect on crystallinity and stoichiometry of the films. All films contained high levels of oxygen contamination, especially in the surface region, because of the rather reactive nature of Zr atoms.
Nanocrystalline nickel particles were embedded in amorphous alumina and crystalline TiN matrices using a pulsed laser deposition process to investigate the effect of texturing on magnetic properties of nickel nanocrystallites. The crystalline quality of both the matrix and magnetic particles was investigated by cross-sectional high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The embedded Ni nanocrystals were found to be epitaxial in the case of the TiN matrix and polycrystalline in Al2O3 amorphous matrix. The Ni nanocrystals on TiN/Si grow epitaxially because the TiN acting as a template grows epitaxially on Si substrate via domain epitaxy. On the other hand, Ni nanocrystals in the Al2O3 matrix are polycrystalline because of the amorphous nature of the alumina matrix. Magnetization versus temperature measurements have shown that the blocking temperature, above which the samples lose magnetization–field (M–H) hysteretic behavior, of the Ni–TiN sample (approximately 190 K) is significantly higher than that of Ni–Al2O3 sample (approximately 30 K) with a similar size distribution of embedded magnetic particles. A comparison of the values of coercivity (Hc) of the two samples, measured from M–H data, indicates that epitaxial Ni nanocrystals also exhibit significantly higher coercivity than polycrystalline Ni particles in amorphous alumina matrix. The high values of TB and Hc of Ni–TiN samples with respect to TB of N–A12O3 samples are believed to be associated with preferred alignment of nanocrystallites.
Barium strontium titanate (BST) thin films were grown directly on Si substrates by the conventional and ultraviolet-assisted pulsed laser deposition techniques. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction and reflectivity, variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry, current-voltage, capacitance-voltage, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy were used to investigate the composition, thickness, and electrical properties of the grown structures. It has been found that at the interface between the Si substrate and the grown dielectric layer, an interfacial layer was always formed. The chemical composition of the layer consisted of SiOx partially mixed with the grown BST, without any evidence of silicate formation.
Medium-k dielectric Y2O3 films were directly grown on (100) Si substrates by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry, current-voltage, capacitance-voltage, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy were used to investigate the composition, thickness, and electrical properties of the grown structures. It has been found that at the interface between the Si substrate and the grown dielectric layer, a SiOx interfacial layer, whose thickness depended on the oxygen pressure used during the PLD growth, was always formed. The main oxygen source for this interfacial layer formation is the physisorbed oxygen trapped inside the grown layer during the laser ablation-deposition process. When trying to reduce the thickness of this low-k interfacial layer by decreasing the oxygen pressure during laser ablation, a marked degradation of the electrical properties of the structures was noticed.
Yttrium oxide and barium strontium titanate (BST) thin films were grown directly on Si substrates by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. Because the optimum oxygen pressure during PLD process is of the order of 10 mTorr, some of the oxygen atoms are trapped inside the grown films and contribute to the growth of a silicon oxide interfacial layer. The use of an UV source during the growth resulted in the reduction of the optimum oxygen pressure and, as a consequence, the amount of trapped oxygen and thickness of the interfacial layer. In addition to that, UV radiation influenced the film morphologies and electrical properties. A further reduction of the interfacial layer was obtained on substrates that were exposed prior to deposition to NH3 for short periods of time under UV radiation.
The properties of thin Y2O3 films grown using an in situ ultraviolet (UV)-assisted pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique were studied. With respect to Y2O3 films grown by conventional PLD under similar conditions but without UV illumination, the UVPLD-grown films exhibited better structural and optical properties, especially for lower substrate temperatures, from 340 to 400 °C. These layers were highly crystalline and textured along the (111) direction, and their refractive index values were similar to those of reference Y2O3 layers. They also exhibited a better stoichiometry and contained less physisorbed oxygen than the conventional PLD-grown layers.
The characteristics of indium tin oxide (ITO) films grown at room temperature on (100) Si and Corning glass substrates by an in situ ultraviolet-assisted pulsed laser deposition (UVPLD) technique have been investigated. The most important parameter, which influenced the optical and electrical properties of the grown films, was the oxygen pressure. For oxygen pressure below 1 mtorr, films were metallic, with very low optical transmittance and rather high resistivity values. The resistivity value decreased when using higher oxygen pressures while the optical transmittance increased. The optimum oxygen pressure was found to be around 10 mtorr. For higher oxygen pressures, the optical transmittance was better but a rapid degradation of the electrical conductivity was noticed. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations showed that ITO films grown at 10 mtorr oxygen are fully oxidized. All of the grown films were amorphous regardless of the oxygen pressure used.
The properties of thin oxide films such as Y2O3, ZnO and Ba0.5Sr0.5TiO3 grown using an in situ ultraviolet (UV)-assisted pulsed laser deposition (UVPLD) technique have been studied. With respect to films grown by conventional PLD under similar conditions but without UV illumination, the UVPLD grown films exhibited better structural and optical and electrical properties, especially for lower substrate temperatures. They also exhibited a better stoichiometry and contained less physisorbed oxygen than the conventional PLD grown layers. These improvements can be traced to several factors. Firstly, deep UV photons and ozone ensure a better in situ cleaning of the substrate prior to the deposition. Secondly, the presence of more reactive gaseous species like ozone and atomic oxygen formed by photodissociation of molecular O2 promotes the growth of more oxygenated films. Thirdly, absorption of UV photons by adatoms could result in an increased of their surface mobility. All these factors have a beneficial effect upon crystalline growth, especially for moderate substrate temperatures. For optimised growth conditions, the crystalline quality and properties of ultraviolet-assisted pulsed laser deposited films was similar to that of films grown using conventional PLD at substrate temperatures of at least 200°C higher.
The characteristics of indium tin oxide (ITO) films grown at room temperature on (100) Si and Coming glass substrates by an in situ ultraviolet-assisted pulsed laser deposition (UVPLD) technique have been investigated. The most important parameter, which influenced the optical and electrical properties of the grown films, was the oxygen pressure. For oxygen pressure below 1 mtorr, films were metallic, with very low optical transmittance and rather high resistivity values. The resistivity value decreased when using higher oxygen pressures while the optical transmittance increased. The optimum oxygen pressure was found to be around 10 mtorr. For higher oxygen pressures, the optical transmittance was better but a rapid degradation of the electrical conductivity was noticed. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations showed that ITO films grown at 10 mtorr oxygen are fully oxidized. All of the grown films were amorphous regardless of the oxygen pressure used.
Barium strontium titanate (BST) thin films were grown directly on Si substrates by an in situ ultraviolet (UV)-assisted pulsed laser deposition (UVPLD) technique. With respect to films grown by conventional (i.e. without UV illumination) pulsed laser deposition (PLD), the UVPLD grown films exhibited improved structural and electrical properties. The dielectric constant of a 40-nm thick film deposited at 650 °C was determined to be 281, the leakage current density was approximately 4×10−8 A/cm2at 100 kV/cm, and the density of interface states at the flat-band voltage was found to be approximately 5.6×1011 eV−1 cm−2 X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations found that the surface of the grown films exhibited an additional Ba-containing phase, besides the usual BST perovskite phase, which was likely caused by stress and/or oxygen vacancies. The amount of this new phase was always smaller and very superficial for UVPLD grown films, which can explain their better overall properties.
The properties of Y2O3, ITO (indium tin oxide), and TaSi2 thin layers grown using a new in-situ ultraviolet (UV)-assisted pulsed laser deposition (UVPLD) technique have been studied. X-ray diffraction investigations showed that with respect to conventional PLD grown films under similar conditions, but without UV illumination, UVPLD grown films exhibited better crystallinity, especially for growth at low substrate temperatures, from 200 °C up to 450 °C, depending on the material. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations showed that UVPLD layers contained less physisorbed oxygen than the conventional PLD layers, exhibiting a better overall stoichiometry. These results suggest that during the ablation-growth process, UV radiation increases the surface mobility of adatoms and provides more reactive gaseous species. Both factors contribute to the crystalline growth and are especially effective at moderate processing temperatures, where the thermal energy available for the process is comparatively low.
The growth, structural and cathodoluminescent (CL) properties of europium activated yttrium oxide (Eu:Y2O3) thin films are reported. The Eu:Y2O3 films were grown in-situ using a pulsed laser deposition technique. Our results show that Eu:Y2O3 films can grow epitaxially on (100) LaAlO3 substrates under optimized deposition parameters. The epitaxial growth of Eu:Y2O3 films on LaAlO3, which has a lattice mismatch of ∼ 60 %, is explained by matching of the atom positions in the lattices of the film and the substrate after a rotation. CL data from these films are consistent with highly crystalline Eu:Y2O3 films with an intense CL emission at 611 nm.
Most studies focused on fundamental aspects of cathode materials in lithium ion battery employ porous electrodes, which are made of polymer bonded transition metal oxide powders mixed with conductors such as carbon. However, the powder morphology and the presence of carbon and polymeric binders affect the physical, chemical and electrochemical behaviors significantly. Therefore, transition metal oxide based materials in thin film form, which are dense and contain no additives, are emerging as promising alternatives to study fundamental properties in lithium ion batteries. Pulsed laser ablation (PLD) was used to deposit highly textured thin and thick porous films of LiMn2O4. Effect of various parameters such as substrates and deposition conditions were studied on the microstructure of these films. Microstructure studies of these films were carried out using x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The electrochemical measurements were carried out in a glove box using cyclic voltammetery, electrochemical cycling and AC Impedance spectroscopy in a half-cell configuration with lithium metal as an anode and reference electrode and LiMn2O4 film as a cathode. Results indicate differences in film morphology greatly effect electrochemical kinetics of Li intercalation and de-intercalation. Thin films show good electrochemical characteristics such as high rate capability, good coulombic efficiency and rechargeability till 400 cycles.