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Proceedings Paper

Nanocrystal formation in thermally oxidized and annealed a-Si:H films and SiOxNy films (x=0.17; y=0.07)
Author(s): Sandeep Kohli; Jeremy A Theil; Rick D. Snyder; Christopher D Rithner; Peter K Dorhout
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Paper Abstract

Silicon nanocrystals have been prepared in thermally oxidized hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and annealed silicon-rich oxynitride (SRON) films with [O/Si]=0.17 [N/Si]=0.07, in the temperature range 400-800°C and 850-1150°C respectively. Glancing Angle X-ray Diffraction (GAXRD) measurements show the presence of silicon nanocrystals embedded in silicon oxide films. Warren-Averbach Analysis of GAXRD data indicates the presence of ~9 nm silicon crystallites in a-Si:H films oxidized at 800°C. Room temperature photo-luminescence (PL) was observed from silicon nanocrystals embedded in oxidized a-Si:H films. Modeling the PL data indicates the presence of 6 nm silicon nanocrystals. This discrepancy is attributed to the columnar growth of silicon nanocrystals in thermally oxidized a-Si:H films. Silicon nanocrystals were not formed by thermal oxidation of SRON films under similar reaction conditions. However, silicon nanocrystals could be fabricated by annealing SRON films for 4 h in vacuum over the temperature range 850-1150°C. Silicon crystallite sizes remained constant (~4 nm) for films annealed below 1050°C and increased to 9 nm for films annealed at 1150°C. The presence of nitrogen played an important role in the silicon nanocrystal precipitation in SRON films. While the nanocrystal formation in a-Si:H films was due to oxidation and crystallization progressing simultaneously in the films, nanocrystal formation in SRON films appears to be due to the high temperature precipitation of excess silicon in the film.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 November 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5224, Nanomaterials and Their Optical Applications, (24 November 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.501706
Show Author Affiliations
Sandeep Kohli, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Jeremy A Theil, Agilent Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Rick D. Snyder, Agilent Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Christopher D Rithner, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Peter K Dorhout, Colorado State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5224:
Nanomaterials and Their Optical Applications
Guozhong Cao; Younan Xia; Paul V. Braun, Editor(s)

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