Experimental results on thin films of the new material GexC1-x, deposited by a unique dual plasma hollow cathode sputtering technique are presented here. The (Ge, C) system is extremely promising since the addition of C to Ge has reduced the lattice dimensions enough to allow a lattice match to silicon, while increasing the bandgap close to that of c-Si. The sputtering is accomplished by igniting a dc plasma of the Ar and H2 gases which are fed through Ge and C nozzles, cylindrical tubes 30 mm in length with an 8 mm O.D. and a 3 mm I.D.
The basic material, optical, and structural properties were analyzed. Film characterization was performed using Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Auger electron spectroscopy. Additional measurements such as Tauc bandgap, conductivity as a function of temperature and light intensity, and film uniformity have been made. The film properties from a variety of deposition conditions are discussed. The measurements made indicate that the films can be grown so that the C enters the material at lattice sites. In addition, the GexC1-x films absorb photons much more efficiently than either c-Si or c-Ge.
Initial results on Al doped films are presented.