Boron (B) doping of plasma deposited silicon films have been widely studied and applied in many devices, while B-doping of germanium has been poorly reported in literature. We have reported previously about Ge:H films with low density of localized states deposited by LF plasma with optimal hydrogen dilution.
This work is devoted to a study of boron incorporation and its effect on electronic properties in Ge:H films. The films were obtained by low frequency (LF) plasma deposition from GeH4+SiH4 +B2H6 mixture diluted with hydrogen. The deposition parameters were as follow: substrate temperature Ts = 300 oC, discharge frequency f= 110 kHz, pressure P= 0.6 Torr, power W= 300 W, germane flow QGeH4= 50 sccm, silane flow, hydrogen flow QH2=3500 sccm, diborane flow was varied in the range of QB2H6=0 to 20 sccm providing boron concentration in gas phase in the range of Y=0 to 4%. Composition of the films was characterized by SIMS profiling. Hydrogen bonding was studied by FTIR. Temperature dependence of conductivity measured in DC regime in vacuum thermostat was employed to study carrier transport. Optical measurements provided optical gap, sub-gap absorption and refraction index. Boron incorporation in solid film demonstrated fast increase in the range of Y = 0 to 1.4% and then increase became slower. Hydrogen concentration in the films was determined by absorption of Ge-H stretching mode at k ≈ 1870 cm−1 and it showed weak increase with change of Y from 0 to 4%. Activation energy of conductivity increased in the range of Y = 0 to 1.5% suggesting a compensation of electron conductivity, reaching maximum value Ea =0.5 eV (corresponding approximately to Eg/2) at Y= 1.5%. Then Ea reduced to minimum value Ea = 0.27 eV at Y= 3.5% showing a trend to saturation with further Y increase. This behavior is related to change of charge transport from electron to intrinsic at Y= 1.5% and further to hole transport.