Skip to main content

Correlation of indentation-induced phase transformations with the degree of relaxation of ion-implanted amorphous silicon

  • Leonardus B. Bayu Aji (a1), S. Ruffell (a1), B. Haberl (a1), J.E. Bradby (a1) and J.S. Williams (a1)...

The probability for amorphous silicon (a-Si) to phase transform under indentation testing is statistically determined as a function of annealing temperature from the probability of a pop-out event occurring on the unloading curve. Raman microspectroscopy is used to confirm that the presence of a pop-out event during indentation is a clear signature that a-Si undergoes phase transformation. The probability for such a phase transformation increases with annealing temperature and reaches 100% at a temperature of 340 °C, a temperature well before the temperature where the average bond-angle distortion is fully minimized. This suggests that multiple processes are occurring during full relaxation.

Corresponding author
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
Hide All
1.Powell, M.J.: The physics of amorphous silicon thin-film transistors. IEEE Trans. Electron Devices 36, 2753 (1989).
2.Carlson, D.E. and Wronski, C.R.: Amorphous silicon solar cell. Appl. Phys. Lett. 28, 671 (1976).
3.Roorda, S., Sinke, W.C., Poate, J.M., Jacobson, D.C., Dierker, S., Dennis, B.S., Eaglesham, D.J., Spaepen, F., and Fuoss, P.: Structural relaxation and defect annihilation in pure amorphous silicon. Phys. Rev. B 44, 3702 (1991).
4.Tsu, R., Hernandez, J.G., Doehler, J., and Ovshinsky, S.R.: Order parameters in amorphous silicon systems. Solid State Commun. 46, 79 (1983).
5.Lannin, J.S., Pilione, L.J., Kshirsagar, S.T., Messier, R., and Ross, R.C.: Variable structural order in amorphous silicon. Phys. Rev. B 26, 3506 (1982).
6.Sinke, W.C., Warabisako, T., Miyao, M., Tokuyama, T., Roorda, S., and Saris, F.W.: Transient structural relaxation of amorphous silicon. J. Non-Cryst. Solids 99, 308 (1988).
7.Moss, S.C. and Graczyk, J.F.: Evidence of voids within the as-deposited structure of glassy silicon. Phys. Rev. Lett. 23, 1167 (1969).
8.Haberl, B., Bradby, J.E., Swain, M.V., Williams, J.S., and Munroe, P.: Phase transformations induced in relaxed amorphous silicon by indentation at room temperature. Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 5559 (2004).
9.Roorda, S., Hakvoort, R.A., Vanveen, A., Stolk, P.A., and Saris, F.W.: Structural and electrical defects in amorphous silicon probed by positrons and electrons. J. Appl. Phys. 72, 5145 (1992).
10.Lewis, A.J., Connell, G.A.N., Paul, W., Pawlik, J.R., and Temkin, R.J.: Hydrogen incorporation in amorphous Germanium. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Tetrahedrally Bonded Amorphous Semiconductors; Brodsky, M.H., Kirkpatrick, S., and Weaire, D., eds., (American Institute of Physics: New York, 1974); p. 27.
11.Saitoh, S., Sugii, T., Ishiwara, H., and Furukawa, S.: Growth conditions of deposited Si films in solid phase epitaxy. Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 20, L130 (1981).
12.Smith, Z.E. and Wagner, S.: Band tails, entropy, and equilibrium defects in hydrogenated amorphous silicon. Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 688 (1987).
13.Maley, N. and Lannin, J.S.: Influence of hydrogen on vibrational and optical properties of a-Si1-xHx alloys. Phys. Rev. B 36, 1146 (1978).
14.Williamson, D.L., Roorda, S., Chicoine, M., Tabti, R., Stolk, P.A., Acco, S., and Saris, F.W.: On the nanostructure of pure amorphous silicon. Appl. Phys. Lett. 67, 226 (1995).
15.Ruffell, S., Vedi, J., Bradby, J.E., and Williams, J.S.: Effect of hydrogen on nanoindentation-induced phase transformations in amorphous silicon. J. Appl. Phys. 106, 123511 (2009).
16.Follstaedt, D.M., Knapp, J.A., and Myers, S.M.: Mechanical properties of ion-implanted amorphous silicon. J. Mater. Res. 19, 338 (2004).
17.Haberl, B., Bradby, J.E., Ruffell, S., Williams, J.S., and Munroe, P.: Phase transformations induced by spherical indentation in ion-implanted amorphous silicon. J. Appl. Phys. 100, 013520 (2006).
18.Bradby, J.E., Williams, J.S., Wong-Leung, J., Swain, M.V., and Munroe, P.: Transmission electron microscopy observation of deformation microstructure under spherical indentation in silicon. Appl. Phys. Lett. 77, 3749 (2000).
19.Tsu, R., Hemindez, J.G., and Pollak, E.H.: Determination of energy barrier for structural relaxation in a-Si and a-Ge by Raman scattering. J. Non-Cryst. Solids 66, 109 (1984).
20.Maley, N., Beeman, D., and Lannin, J.S.: Dynamics of tetrahedral networks: Amorphous Si and Ge. Phys. Rev. B 38, 10611 (1988).
21.Beeman, D., Tsu, R., and Thorpe, M.F.: Structural information from the Raman spectrum of amorphous silicon. Phys. Rev. B 32, 874 (1985).
22.Kailer, A., Gogotsi, Y.G., and Nickel, K.G.: Phase transformations of silicon caused by contact loading. J. Appl. Phys. 81, 3057 (1997).
23.Evans Analytical Group. 104 Windsor Center, East Windsor, NJ 08520 USA.
24.Laaziri, K., Kycia, S., Roorda, S., Chicoine, M., Robertson, J.L., Wang, J., and Moss, S.C.: High-energy x-ray diffraction study of pure amorphous silicon. Phys. Rev. B 60, 13520 (1999).
25.Ruffell, S., Bradby, J.E., Williams, J.S., Munoz-Paniagua, D., Tadayyon, S., Coatsworth, L.L., and Norton, P.R.: Nanoindentation-induced phase transformations in silicon at elevated temperatures. Nanotechnology 20, 135603 (2009).
26.Barkema, G.T. and Mousseau, N.: High-quality continuous random networks. Phys. Rev. B 62, 4985 (2000).
27.Coffa, S., Priolo, F., and Battaglia, A.: Defect production and annealing in ion-implanted amorphous silicon. Phys. Rev. Lett. 70, 3756 (1993).
28.Shin, J.H. and Atwater, H.A.: Activation-energy spectrum and structural relaxation dynamics of amorphous silicon. Phys. Rev. B 48, 5964 (1993).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-materials-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed