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Hopping transport in doped co-deposited mixed-phase hydrogenated amorphous/nanocrystalline silicon thin films

  • L. R. Wienkes (a1), C. Blackwell (a1) and J. Kakalios (a1)

Studies of the electronic transport properties of n-type doped hydrogenated amorphous/nanocrystalline silicon (a/nc-Si:H) films deposited in a dual-plasma co-deposition reactor are described. For these doped a/nc-Si:H, the conductivity increases monotonically for increasing crystal fractions up to 60% and displays marked deviations from a simple thermally activated temperature dependence. Analysis of the temperature dependence of the activation energy for these films finds that the dark conductivity is best described by a power-law temperature dependence, σ = σo (T/To)n where n = 1 – 4, suggesting multiphonon hopping as the main transport mechanism. These results suggest that electronic transport in mixed-phase films occurs through the a-Si:H matrix at lower nanocrystal concentrations and shifts to hopping conduction between clusters of nanocrystals at higher nanocrystal densities.

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