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Structural analysis of hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon thin films as a function of substrate temperature during deposition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 February 2014

Mustafa Anutgan*
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Karabuk University, 78050 Karabuk, Turkey
Sema Uysal
Department of Physics, Karabuk University, 78050 Karabuk, Turkey
Tamila Anutgan
Department of Medical Engineering, Karabuk University, 78050 Karabuk, Turkey
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In this contribution, the micro- and macro-structure of plasma grown hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) thin films were followed with respect to substrate temperature (Ts) ranging from 80 °C to 200 °C. nc-Si:H films were deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique using silane gas highly diluted by hydrogen and high RF power density. Micro-structure analysis was performed with grazing angle X-ray diffraction (GAXRD) and dispersive Raman spectroscopies. Parallelly, morphological properties of the films were investigated via field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) by taking both surface and cross-sectional micrographs. GAXRD results suggest the presence of 4–5 nm nanocrystallites with the size almost independent of Ts. The detailed analysis of the Raman spectra reveals one- and two-phonon modes due to amorphous and crystalline silicon (c-Si), where all c-Si related peaks shifted to lower frequencies. Raman nanocrystalline volume fraction is found to be greater than 50% for all Ts; it increases together with the short-range order at elevated Ts. This micro-structural improvement with Ts is considered to be slight when compared to the FE-SEM-observed drastic changes of morphology, particularly the size of large conglomerates (35–250 nm). The behavior of micro- and macro-structure with Ts is correlated well with the previously determined bonding and lateral conductivity measurements. It seems to be the macro-structure that accounts for bonding and electrical properties of nc-Si:H thin films.

Research Article
© EDP Sciences, 2014

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