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Amorphous silicon–nitrogen (a–Si1−xNx:H) alloys, thin films, and multilayers deposited by ultrahigh-vacuum plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition were studied and modeled by x-ray reflectivity (XRR) measurements. The analysis of XRR data obtained from the single-layer samples allowed us to calculate the density, thickness, and interface roughness of each layer. To check the deposition parameters, the deviation (tnom – texp)/(tnom) of the measured thickness texp from the nominal thickness tnom was evaluated. Based on these results, a simulation of a multilayer film, obtained by deposition alternating stoichiometric and substoichimetric layers was carried out. It is shown that the best fitting is obtained by introducing into the XRR calculation a thickness distribution with a standard deviation related to the deviation (tnom – texp)/(tnom) estimated for the single layers.
In this work we mainly report on the analyses of polycrystalline silicon carbide films grown by Electron Cyclotron Resonance Chemical Vapor Deposition (ECR-CVD) on Si (100) and Si (111) substrates. Structural properties of the films have been analyzed by X-ray diffractometry, transmission electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy. Samples deposited with optimized deposition conditions, show a polycrystalline columnar structure with lateral crystal dimensions ranging from 300 up to 1400 Å and an orientation close to that of the Si substrates.
High room temperature photoluminescence efficiency (PLE) was observed for the first time in a-SixN1-x:H based nanometric multilayers deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). The structure consists of alternate stoichiometric a-Si3N4:H barrier layers (E04=5.0 eV) and well layers in which E04 is varied between 2.11 eV and 2.64 eV. The peak of PL spectra and the absorption coefficient edge exhibits a blue shift up to 0.5–0.6 eV by decreasing the well thickness from 30 Å down to 5–10 Å. A strong increase in the PLE of multilayers, with well thickness around 5–10 Å, with respect to the PLE of bulk material was obtained.
A p-i-n light emitting device (LED) with a multilayered structure as i-layer, having well layers with E04=2.64 eV and thickness 10 Å, is presented. The LED under forward bias shows an emission visible with the naked eye, with limited degradation after 8 hours of continuous operation.
A study of the electroluminescence degradation of a-SiC:H based light emitting devices (LED) is presented for the first time. The best initial peak brightness obtained is 4.2 cd/m2. All LEDs reported in this paper emit a red light which, when operated under continuous bias in a not fully darkened room, is visible for several minutes, depending on degradation rate. The time dependence of LED degradation, which is reversible upon annealing, can be explained if self-annealing is taken into account. There is evidence of an improved LED performance for lower temperature operation. Pulsed operation, with respect to dc operation, produces a markedly lower defect production rate, associated to a higher brightness after degradation. The possibility of some optimization of the operation parameters (peak current, duty cycle) is discussed.
In this work we present Thermal Modulation Electron Spin Resonance Measurements performed on a-SiC:H films prepared by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition with energy gap in the range 1.8–2.5 eV. The results have been compared with previously obtained photothermal and photoconductive ones and have been interpreted by means of a defect distribution which takes into account both silicon based and carbon based defects.
AMorphous silicon carbide films were deposited by the PECVD technique in SiH4+CH4 gas mixtures at various CH4 flow rates with and without H2 dilution of the reactive Mixture. A detailed analysis of defect distribution in the gap has been performed by PDS and the results have been correlated with the structural (IR) and the compositional properties (RBS, ERDA). The effect of hydrogen dilution on the electronic properties of the films was investigated by dark and photo electrical conductivity Measurements.
Amorphous silicon carbide films have been deposited by PECVD in SiH4+CH4+H2 mixtures at different hydrogen dilutions. The optoelecuonic properties of the films have been measured by transmittance-reflectance spectroscopy, photothermal deflection spectroscopy and photo and dark electrical conductivity. Structural properties have been obtained by FTIR spectroscopy. It was found that high hydrogen dilution leads to materials of improved quality, p-i-n device structures have been deposited with intrinsic layers at different hydrogen dilution levels.
Hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) films have been deposited by sputter assisted plasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The relative concentration of sp3 and sp2 hybridized carbon in samples is determined by infrared (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies and by a new method through the complex dielectric constant deduced from optical transmittance and reflectance. The results are compared and discussed.
Diamond-like amorphous carbon and hydrogenated amorphous carbon films (DLC) prepared by rf sputtering have been characterized by means of measurements of optical gap, hardness and Young's modulus. Preliminary results of the application of the photothermal displacement technique (PTD) are also reported, confirming that this method can in principle be applied for a more complete characterization of DLC films at room temperature and low temperatures.
Single junction a-Si p-i-n solar cells have been deposited by an Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) Multichamber PECVD system reaching an efficiency of 10.1% over 0.1 cm2 and 9.7% over 1 cm2. The effect of hydrogen treatments on the performance of the solar cells was studied on two different types of SnO2 coated substrates and was correlated with the I-V characteristics under AM1.5 (100 mW cm-2) illumination and the spectral response of the devices. The results show that modifications at the TCO/p-layer interface due to the hydrogen plasma treatments are strongly dependent on the initial characteristics of the TCO.
Ion implantation of boron and phosphorus in device quality a-SixC1-x:H films deposited by Ultra High Vacuum Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (UHV PECVD) has been performed. The effects of damage and of damage recovering after annealing were investigated by optical absorption, electrical conductivity and infrared (IR) spectroscopy measurements. It is found that samples doped by phosphorus implantation can have dark conductivities as high as those obtained on samples doped with boron, either by ion implantation or gas phase.
Samples of μc-Si1-xCx:H with different degree of crystallinity and different carbon content were deposited by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition and characterized by means of optical, electrical and structural measurements. The correlation between the degree of crystallinity and the mechanism of conductivity and optical transitions in both amorphous and crystalline phases and at the crystalline-amorphous interfaces is reported and discussed in terms of a band structure model.
Films of μc-Si:H have been deposited in a conventional PECVD system in order to investigate their structural and morphological properties. They consist of a mixed phase of Si crystallites (50–200 Å), surrounded by grain boundaries, and amorphous regions. In this paper we report results obtained by different characterization techniques which have been used to deduce grain size, microcrystallinity fraction and composition of the crystalline, amoiphous and grain boundary. The amorphous matrix can be considered a covalent network where tetrahedrically coordinated carbon atoms, with 1 on 9 bonds terminated by hydrogen, exist. They form a distribution of large aromatic clusters containing a great number of aromatic rings such as to remarkably reduce the number of network terminators (hydrogen atoms).
Boron doped a-SiC:H samples have been obtained both by gas phase doping during film growth and by using ion implantation. All the implanted samples were annealed under vacuum to remove the damage introduced by ion implantation and to produce a dopant diffusion. Physical properties deduced by optical, electrical and structural characterization of the two sets of samples have been compared. Ion implantation technique allows a better control of the dopant dose but increases the compositional disorder and the obtained conductivity values are one order of magnitude lower than those of gas doped samples.
Experimental results on a systematic investigation on the elemental composition, structural, optical and electrical properties of undoped and doped microcrystalline silicon carbide films deposited by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition.
The doped samples show high values of dark conductivity accompanied by good optical properties so to satisfy the requirements for heterojunction window material.
Amorphous and microcrystalline films of silicon and silicon carbide have been deposited by means of PECVD at low substrate temperature (200°C), with reactive gases highly diluted in H2. Devices quality a-Si:H films have been annealed in vacuum at temperatures in the range 200- 1000 °C. The transition from amorphous to crystalline structure was studied by X-ray, Raman and I.R. spectroscopies, optical analysis in UV-VIS-NIR region, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Electron Spin Resonance measurements. By comparing the results of the two methods to obtain microcrystalline films we have deduced information on the process of growth of Si and SiC microcrystals.
In order to improve our understanding of the motion of hydrogen and the mechanism by which structural changes occurr, two sets of a-SiC:H samples obtained by glow-discharge at different substrate temperatures and power densities, respectively without and with hydrogen flow, were analyzed.
Results from structural, optical and electrical measurements show that annealing and hydrogen diffusion allow for a possible reorganization of the a-SiC:H amorphous network.
The optoelectronic properties of the new semiconducting alloy a-CSiGe:H have been studied with particular regard to the dependence upon deposition and annealing temperature. Infrared and electrical results are interpreted in terms of hydrogen bonding.
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