Faculté des sciences

Evolution of the microstructure in microcrystalline silicon prepared by very high frequency glow-discharge using hydrogen dilution

Vallat-Sauvain, Evelyne ; Kroll, U. ; Meier, J. ; Shah, Arvind ; Pohl, J.

In: Journal of Applied Physics, 2000, vol. 87, no. 6, p. 3137-3142

A series of samples was deposited by very high frequency glow discharge in a plasma of silane diluted in hydrogen in concentrations SiH4/(SiH4 + H2) varying from 100% to 1.25%. For silane concentrations below 8.4%, a phase transition between amorphous and microcrystalline silicon occurs. Microcrystalline silicon has been characterized by transmission electron... Plus

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    Summary
    A series of samples was deposited by very high frequency glow discharge in a plasma of silane diluted in hydrogen in concentrations SiH4/(SiH4 + H2) varying from 100% to 1.25%. For silane concentrations below 8.4%, a phase transition between amorphous and microcrystalline silicon occurs. Microcrystalline silicon has been characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and x-ray diffraction. The medium-resolution TEM observations show that below the transition, the microstructure of microcrystalline silicon varies in a complex way, showing a large variety of different growth structures. For the sample close to the phase transition, one observes elongated nanocrystals of silicon embedded in an amorphous matrix followed at intermediate dilution by dendritic growth, and, finally, at very high dilution level, one observes columnar growth. X-ray diffraction data evidence a (220) crystallographic texture; the comparison of the grain sizes as evaluated from TEM observations and those determined using Scherrer's equation illustrates the known limitations of the latter method for grain size determination in complex microstructures.