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Sample records for kaihatsu amorphous silicon

  1. Hydrogen in amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Peercy, P. S.

    1980-01-01

    The structural aspects of amorphous silicon and the role of hydrogen in this structure are reviewed with emphasis on ion implantation studies. In amorphous silicon produced by Si ion implantation of crystalline silicon, the material reconstructs into a metastable amorphous structure which has optical and electrical properties qualitatively similar to the corresponding properties in high-purity evaporated amorphous silicon. Hydrogen studies further indicate that these structures will accomodate less than or equal to 5 at.% hydrogen and this hydrogen is bonded predominantly in a monohydride (SiH/sub 1/) site. Larger hydrogen concentrations than this can be achieved under certain conditions, but the excess hydrogen may be attributed to defects and voids in the material. Similarly, glow discharge or sputter deposited amorphous silicon has more desirable electrical and optical properties when the material is prepared with low hydrogen concentration and monohydride bonding. Results of structural studies and hydrogen incorporation in amorphous silicon were discussed relative to the different models proposed for amorphous silicon.

  2. Amorphous silicon photovoltaic devices

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.; Lin, Guang H.; Ganguly, Gautam

    2004-08-31

    This invention is a photovoltaic device comprising an intrinsic or i-layer of amorphous silicon and where the photovoltaic device is more efficient at converting light energy to electric energy at high operating temperatures than at low operating temperatures. The photovoltaic devices of this invention are suitable for use in high temperature operating environments.

  3. Amorphous silicon radiation detectors

    DOEpatents

    Street, Robert A.; Perez-Mendez, Victor; Kaplan, Selig N.

    1992-01-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon radiation detector devices having enhanced signal are disclosed. Specifically provided are transversely oriented electrode layers and layered detector configurations of amorphous silicon, the structure of which allow high electric fields upon application of a bias thereby beneficially resulting in a reduction in noise from contact injection and an increase in signal including avalanche multiplication and gain of the signal produced by incoming high energy radiation. These enhanced radiation sensitive devices can be used as measuring and detection means for visible light, low energy photons and high energy ionizing particles such as electrons, x-rays, alpha particles, beta particles and gamma radiation. Particular utility of the device is disclosed for precision powder crystallography and biological identification.

  4. Amorphous silicon radiation detectors

    DOEpatents

    Street, R.A.; Perez-Mendez, V.; Kaplan, S.N.

    1992-11-17

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon radiation detector devices having enhanced signal are disclosed. Specifically provided are transversely oriented electrode layers and layered detector configurations of amorphous silicon, the structure of which allow high electric fields upon application of a bias thereby beneficially resulting in a reduction in noise from contact injection and an increase in signal including avalanche multiplication and gain of the signal produced by incoming high energy radiation. These enhanced radiation sensitive devices can be used as measuring and detection means for visible light, low energy photons and high energy ionizing particles such as electrons, x-rays, alpha particles, beta particles and gamma radiation. Particular utility of the device is disclosed for precision powder crystallography and biological identification. 13 figs.

  5. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon photonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayanan, Karthik

    2011-12-01

    Silicon Photonics is quickly proving to be a suitable interconnect technology for meeting the future goals of on-chip bandwidth and low power requirements. However, it is not clear how silicon photonics will be integrated into CMOS chips, particularly microprocessors. The issue of integrating photonic circuits into electronic IC fabrication processes to achieve maximum flexibility and minimum complexity and cost is an important one. In order to minimize usage of chip real estate, it will be advantageous to integrate in three-dimensions. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is emerging as a promising material for the 3-D integration of silicon photonics for on-chip optical interconnects. In addition, a-Si:H film can be deposited using CMOS compatible low temperature plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process at any point in the fabrication process allowing maximum flexibility and minimal complexity. In this thesis, we demonstrate a-Si:H as a high performance alternate platform to crystalline silicon, enabling backend integration of optical interconnects in a hybrid photonic-electronic network-on-chip architecture. High quality passive devices are fabricated on a low-loss a-Si:H platform enabling wavelength division multiplexing schemes. We demonstrate a broadband all-optical modulation scheme based on free-carrier absorption effect, which can enable compact electro-optic modulators in a-Si:H. Furthermore, we comprehensively characterize the optical nonlinearities in a-Si:H and observe that a-Si:H exhibits enhanced nonlinearities as compared to crystalline silicon. Based on the enhanced nonlinearities, we demonstrate low-power four-wave mixing in a-Si:H waveguides enabling high speed all-optical devices in an a-Si:H platform. Finally, we demonstrate a novel data encoding scheme using thermal and all-optical tuning of silicon waveguides, increasing the spectral efficiency in an interconnect link.

  6. Compensated amorphous silicon solar cell

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1980-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell incorporates a region of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon fabricated by a glow discharge wherein said intrinsic region is compensated by P-type dopants in an amount sufficient to reduce the space charge density of said region under illumination to about zero.

  7. Compensated amorphous silicon solar cell

    DOEpatents

    Devaud, Genevieve

    1983-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell including an electrically conductive substrate, a layer of glow discharge deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon over said substrate and having regions of differing conductivity with at least one region of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The layer of hydrogenated amorphous silicon has opposed first and second major surfaces where the first major surface contacts the electrically conductive substrate and an electrode for electrically contacting the second major surface. The intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon region is deposited in a glow discharge with an atmosphere which includes not less than about 0.02 atom percent mono-atomic boron. An improved N.I.P. solar cell is disclosed using a BF.sub.3 doped intrinsic layer.

  8. Nanocrystalline silicon/amorphous silicon dioxide superlattices

    SciTech Connect

    Fauchet, P.M.; Tsybeskov, L.; Zacharias, M. |; Hirschman, K. |

    1998-12-31

    Thin layers made of densely packed silicon nanocrystals sandwiched between amorphous silicon dioxide layers have been manufactured and characterized. An amorphous silicon/amorphous silicon dioxide superlattice is first grown by CVD or RF sputtering. The a-Si layers are recrystallized in a two-step procedure (nucleation + growth) for form layers of nearly identical nanocrystals whose diameter is given by the initial a-Si layer thickness. The recrystallization is monitored using a variety of techniques, including TEM, X-Ray, Raman, and luminescence spectroscopies. When the a-Si layer thickness decreases (from 25 nm to 2.5 nm) or the a-SiO{sub 2} layer thickness increases (from 1.5 nm to 6 nm), the recrystallization temperature increases dramatically compared to that of a single a-Si film. The removal of the a-Si tissue present between the nanocrystals, the passivation of the nanocrystals, and their doping are discussed.

  9. Narrow band gap amorphous silicon semiconductors

    DOEpatents

    Madan, A.; Mahan, A.H.

    1985-01-10

    Disclosed is a narrow band gap amorphous silicon semiconductor comprising an alloy of amorphous silicon and a band gap narrowing element selected from the group consisting of Sn, Ge, and Pb, with an electron donor dopant selected from the group consisting of P, As, Sb, Bi and N. The process for producing the narrow band gap amorphous silicon semiconductor comprises the steps of forming an alloy comprising amorphous silicon and at least one of the aforesaid band gap narrowing elements in amount sufficient to narrow the band gap of the silicon semiconductor alloy below that of amorphous silicon, and also utilizing sufficient amounts of the aforesaid electron donor dopant to maintain the amorphous silicon alloy as an n-type semiconductor.

  10. Amorphous silicon solar cell allowing infrared transmission

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1979-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell with a layer of high index of refraction material or a series of layers having high and low indices of refraction material deposited upon a transparent substrate to reflect light of energies greater than the bandgap energy of the amorphous silicon back into the solar cell and transmit solar radiation having an energy less than the bandgap energy of the amorphous silicon.

  11. Amorphous silicon based radiation detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Perez-Mendez, V.; Cho, G.; Drewery, J.; Jing, T.; Kaplan, S.N.; Qureshi, S.; Wildermuth, D. ); Fujieda, I.; Street, R.A. )

    1991-07-01

    We describe the characteristics of thin(1 {mu}m) and thick (>30{mu}m) hydrogenated amorphous silicon p-i-n diodes which are optimized for detecting and recording the spatial distribution of charged particles, x-rays and {gamma} rays. For x-ray, {gamma} ray, and charged particle detection we can use thin p-i-n photosensitive diode arrays coupled to evaporated layers of suitable scintillators. For direct detection of charged particles with high resistance to radiation damage, we use the thick p-i-n diode arrays. 13 refs., 7 figs.

  12. Compensated amorphous-silicon solar cell

    DOEpatents

    Devaud, G.

    1982-06-21

    An amorphous silicon solar cell including an electrically conductive substrate, a layer of glow discharge deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon having regions of differing conductivity with at least one region of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The layer of hydrogenated amorphous silicon has opposed first and second major surfaces where the first major surface contacts the elecrically conductive substrate and an electrode for electrically contacting the second major surface. The intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon region is deposited in a glow discharge with an atmosphere which includes not less than about 0.02 atom percent mono-atomic boron. An improved N.I.P. solar cell is disclosed using a BF/sub 3/ doped intrinsic layer.

  13. Method of producing hydrogenated amorphous silicon film

    DOEpatents

    Wiesmann, Harold J.

    1980-01-01

    This invention relates to hydrogenated amorphous silicon produced by thermally decomposing silane (SiH.sub.4) or other gases comprising H and Si, from a tungsten or carbon foil heated to a temperature of about 1400.degree.-1600.degree. C., in a vacuum of about 10.sup.-6 to 19.sup.-4 torr, to form a gaseous mixture of atomic hydrogen and atomic silicon, and depositing said gaseos mixture onto a substrate independent of and outside said source of thermal decomposition, to form hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The presence of an ammonia atmosphere in the vacuum chamber enhances the photoconductivity of the hydrogenated amorphous silicon film.

  14. Tests Of Amorphous-Silicon Photovoltaic Modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Ronald G., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    Progress in identification of strengths and weaknesses of amorphous-silicon technology detailed. Report describes achievements in testing reliability of solar-power modules made of amorphous-silicon photovoltaic cells. Based on investigation of modules made by U.S. manufacturers. Modules subjected to field tests, to accelerated-aging tests in laboratory, and to standard sequence of qualification tests developed for modules of crystalline-silicon cells.

  15. Electron tunnelling into amorphous germanium and silicon.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, C. W.; Clark, A. H.

    1972-01-01

    Measurements of tunnel conductance versus bias, capacitance versus bias, and internal photoemission were made in the systems aluminum-oxide-amorphous germanium and aluminium-oxide-amorphous silicon. A function was extracted which expresses the deviation of these systems from the aluminium-oxide-aluminium system.

  16. Atomic-scale disproportionation in amorphous silicon monoxide

    PubMed Central

    Hirata, Akihiko; Kohara, Shinji; Asada, Toshihiro; Arao, Masazumi; Yogi, Chihiro; Imai, Hideto; Tan, Yongwen; Fujita, Takeshi; Chen, Mingwei

    2016-01-01

    Solid silicon monoxide is an amorphous material which has been commercialized for many functional applications. However, the amorphous structure of silicon monoxide is a long-standing question because of the uncommon valence state of silicon in the oxide. It has been deduced that amorphous silicon monoxide undergoes an unusual disproportionation by forming silicon- and silicon-dioxide-like regions. Nevertheless, the direct experimental observation is still missing. Here we report the amorphous structure characterized by angstrom-beam electron diffraction, supplemented by synchrotron X-ray scattering and computer simulations. In addition to the theoretically predicted amorphous silicon and silicon-dioxide clusters, suboxide-type tetrahedral coordinates are detected by angstrom-beam electron diffraction at silicon/silicon-dioxide interfaces, which provides compelling experimental evidence on the atomic-scale disproportionation of amorphous silicon monoxide. Eventually we develop a heterostructure model of the disproportionated silicon monoxide which well explains the distinctive structure and properties of the amorphous material. PMID:27172815

  17. Atomic-scale disproportionation in amorphous silicon monoxide.

    PubMed

    Hirata, Akihiko; Kohara, Shinji; Asada, Toshihiro; Arao, Masazumi; Yogi, Chihiro; Imai, Hideto; Tan, Yongwen; Fujita, Takeshi; Chen, Mingwei

    2016-05-13

    Solid silicon monoxide is an amorphous material which has been commercialized for many functional applications. However, the amorphous structure of silicon monoxide is a long-standing question because of the uncommon valence state of silicon in the oxide. It has been deduced that amorphous silicon monoxide undergoes an unusual disproportionation by forming silicon- and silicon-dioxide-like regions. Nevertheless, the direct experimental observation is still missing. Here we report the amorphous structure characterized by angstrom-beam electron diffraction, supplemented by synchrotron X-ray scattering and computer simulations. In addition to the theoretically predicted amorphous silicon and silicon-dioxide clusters, suboxide-type tetrahedral coordinates are detected by angstrom-beam electron diffraction at silicon/silicon-dioxide interfaces, which provides compelling experimental evidence on the atomic-scale disproportionation of amorphous silicon monoxide. Eventually we develop a heterostructure model of the disproportionated silicon monoxide which well explains the distinctive structure and properties of the amorphous material.

  18. Amorphous silicon detectors in positron emission tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Conti, M. Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA ); Perez-Mendez, V. )

    1989-12-01

    The physics of the detection process is studied and the performances of different Positron Emission Tomography (PET) system are evaluated by theoretical calculation and/or Monte Carlo Simulation (using the EGS code) in this paper, whose table of contents can be summarized as follows: a brief introduction to amorphous silicon detectors and some useful equation is presented; a Tantalum/Amorphous Silicon PET project is studied and the efficiency of the systems is studied by Monte Carlo Simulation; two similar CsI/Amorphous Silicon PET projects are presented and their efficiency and spatial resolution are studied by Monte Carlo Simulation, light yield and time characteristics of the scintillation light are discussed for different scintillators; some experimental result on light yield measurements are presented; a Xenon/Amorphous Silicon PET is presented, the physical mechanism of scintillation in Xenon is explained, a theoretical estimation of total light yield in Xenon and the resulting efficiency is discussed altogether with some consideration of the time resolution of the system; the amorphous silicon integrated electronics is presented, total noise and time resolution are evaluated in each of our applications; the merit parameters {epsilon}{sup 2}{tau}'s are evaluated and compared with other PET systems and conclusions are drawn; and a complete reference list for Xenon scintillation light physics and its applications is presented altogether with the listing of the developed simulation programs.

  19. Amorphous Silicon Based Neutron Detector

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Liwei

    2004-12-12

    Various large-scale neutron sources already build or to be constructed, are important for materials research and life science research. For all these neutron sources, neutron detectors are very important aspect. However, there is a lack of a high-performance and low-cost neutron beam monitor that provides time and temporal resolution. The objective of this SBIR Phase I research, collaboratively performed by Midwest Optoelectronics, LLC (MWOE), the University of Toledo (UT) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is to demonstrate the feasibility for amorphous silicon based neutron beam monitors that are pixilated, reliable, durable, fully packaged, and fabricated with high yield using low-cost method. During the Phase I effort, work as been focused in the following areas: 1) Deposition of high quality, low-defect-density, low-stress a-Si films using very high frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (VHF PECVD) at high deposition rate and with low device shunting; 2) Fabrication of Si/SiO2/metal/p/i/n/metal/n/i/p/metal/SiO2/ device for the detection of alpha particles which are daughter particles of neutrons through appropriate nuclear reactions; and 3) Testing of various devices fabricated for alpha and neutron detection; As the main results: · High quality, low-defect-density, low-stress a-Si films have been successfully deposited using VHF PECVD on various low-cost substrates; · Various single-junction and double junction detector devices have been fabricated; · The detector devices fabricated have been systematically tested and analyzed. · Some of the fabricated devices are found to successfully detect alpha particles. Further research is required to bring this Phase I work beyond the feasibility demonstration toward the final prototype devices. The success of this project will lead to a high-performance, low-cost, X-Y pixilated neutron beam monitor that could be used in all of the neutron facilities worldwide. In addition, the technologies

  20. Formation of iron disilicide on amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erlesand, U.; Östling, M.; Bodén, K.

    1991-11-01

    Thin films of iron disilicide, β-FeSi 2 were formed on both amorphous silicon and on crystalline silicon. The β-phase is reported to be semiconducting with a direct band-gap of about 0.85-0.89 eV. This phase is known to form via a nucleation-controlled growth process on crystalline silicon and as a consequence a rather rough silicon/silicide interface is usually formed. In order to improve the interface a bilayer structure of amorphous silicon and iron was sequentially deposited on Czochralski <111> silicon in an e-gun evaporation system. Secondary ion mass spectrometry profiling (SIMS) and scanning electron micrographs revealed an improvement of the interface sharpness. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and X-ray diffractiometry showed β-FeSi 2 formation already at 525°C. It was also observed that the silicide growth was diffusion-controlled, similar to what has been reported for example in the formation of NiSi 2 for the reaction of nickel on amorphous silicon. The kinetics of the FeSi 2 formation in the temperature range 525-625°C was studied by RBS and the activation energy was found to be 1.5 ± 0.1 eV.

  1. Neutron irradiation induced amorphization of silicon carbide

    SciTech Connect

    Snead, L.L.; Hay, J.C.

    1998-09-01

    This paper provides the first known observation of silicon carbide fully amorphized under neutron irradiation. Both high purity single crystal hcp and high purity, highly faulted (cubic) chemically vapor deposited (CVD) SiC were irradiated at approximately 60 C to a total fast neutron fluence of 2.6 {times} 10{sup 25} n/m{sup 2}. Amorphization was seen in both materials, as evidenced by TEM, electron diffraction, and x-ray diffraction techniques. Physical properties for the amorphized single crystal material are reported including large changes in density ({minus}10.8%), elastic modulus as measured using a nanoindentation technique ({minus}45%), hardness as measured by nanoindentation ({minus}45%), and standard Vickers hardness ({minus}24%). Similar property changes are observed for the critical temperature for amorphization at this neutron dose and flux, above which amorphization is not possible, is estimated to be greater than 130 C.

  2. Inverted amorphous silicon solar cell utilizing cermet layers

    DOEpatents

    Hanak, Joseph J.

    1979-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell incorporating a transparent high work function metal cermet incident to solar radiation and a thick film cermet contacting the amorphous silicon opposite to said incident surface.

  3. Metal electrode for amorphous silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Williams, Richard

    1983-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell having an N-type region wherein the contact to the N-type region is composed of a material having a work function of about 3.7 electron volts or less. Suitable materials include strontium, barium and magnesium and rare earth metals such as gadolinium and yttrium.

  4. Fabricating amorphous silicon solar cells by varying the temperature _of the substrate during deposition of the amorphous silicon layer

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1982-01-01

    An improved process for fabricating amorphous silicon solar cells in which the temperature of the substrate is varied during the deposition of the amorphous silicon layer is described. Solar cells manufactured in accordance with this process are shown to have increased efficiencies and fill factors when compared to solar cells manufactured with a constant substrate temperature during deposition of the amorphous silicon layer.

  5. Amorphization of Silicon Carbide by Carbon Displacement

    SciTech Connect

    Devanathan, Ram; Gao, Fei; Weber, William J.

    2004-05-10

    We have used molecular dynamics simulations to examine the possibility of amorphizing silicon carbide (SiC) by exclusively displacing C atoms. At a defect generation corresponding to 0.2 displacements per atom, the enthalpy surpasses the level of melt-quenched SiC, the density decreases by about 15%, and the radial distribution function shows a lack of long-range order. Prior to amorphization, the surviving defects are mainly C Frenkel pairs (67%), but Si Frenkel pairs (18%) and anti-site defects (15%) are also present. The results indicate that SiC can be amorphized by C sublattice displacements. Chemical short-range disorder, arising mainly from interstitial production, plays a significant role in the amorphization.

  6. Crystalline to amorphous transformation in silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Cheruvu, S.M.

    1982-09-01

    In the present investigation, an attempt was made to understand the fundamental mechanism of crystalline-to-amorphous transformation in arsenic implanted silicon using high resolution electron microscopy. A comparison of the gradual disappearance of simulated lattice fringes with increasing Frenkel pair concentration with the experimental observation of sharp interfaces between crystalline and amorphous regions was carried out leading to the conclusion that when the defect concentration reaches a critical value, the crystal does relax to an amorphous state. Optical diffraction experiments using atomic models also supported this hypothesis. Both crystalline and amorphous zones were found to co-exist with sharp interfaces at the atomic level. Growth of the amorphous fraction depends on the temperature, dose rate and the mass of the implanted ion. Preliminary results of high energy electron irradiation experiments at 1.2 MeV also suggested that clustering of point defects occurs near room temperature. An observation in a high resolution image of a small amorphous zone centered at the core of a dislocation is presented as evidence that the nucleation of an amorphous phase is heterogeneous in nature involving clustering or segregation of point defects near existing defects.

  7. Neutron irradiation induced amorphization of silicon carbide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snead, L. L.; Hay, J. C.

    1999-07-01

    This paper provides the properties of bulk stoichiometric silicon carbide which has been amorphized under neutron irradiation. Both high purity single crystal hcp and high purity, highly faulted (cubic) chemically vapor deposited (CVD) SiC were irradiated at approximately 60°C to a total fast neutron fluence of 2.6 × 10 25 n/m 2. Amorphization was seen in both materials as evidenced by TEM, electron diffraction and X-ray diffraction techniques. Physical properties for the amorphized single crystal material are reported including large changes in density (-10.8%), elastic modulus as measured using a nanoindentation technique (-45%), hardness as measured by nanoindentation (-45%), and standard Vickers hardness (-24%). Similar property changes are observed for the amorphized CVD SiC. Using measured thermal conductivity data for the CVD SiC sample, the critical temperature for amorphization at this neutron dose and flux, above which amorphization is not possible, is estimated to be greater than ˜125°C.

  8. Structural characterization of stable amorphous silicon films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Shibin; Kong, Guanglin; Wang, Yongqian; Sheng, Shuran; Liao, Xianbo

    2002-05-01

    A kind of hydrogenated diphasic silicon films has been prepared by a new regime of plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) in the region adjacent to the phase transition from amorphous to crystalline state. The photoelectronic and microstructural properties of the films have been investigated by the constant photocurrent method (CPM), Raman scattering and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Our experimental results and corresponding analyses showed that the diphasic films, incorporated with a subtle boron compensation, could gain both the fine photosensitivity and high stability, provided the crystalline fraction ( f) was controlled in the range of 0< f<0.3. When compared with the conventional hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), the diphasic films are more ordered and robust in the microstructure, and have a less clustered phase in the Si-H bond configurations.

  9. Amorphous metallic films in silicon metallization systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    So, F.; Kolawa, E.; Nicolet, M. A.

    1985-06-01

    Diffusion barrier research was focussed on lowering the chemical reactivity of amorphous thin films on silicon. An additional area of concern is the reaction with metal overlays such as aluminum, silver, and gold. Gold was included to allow for technology transfer to gallium arsenide PV cells. Amorphous tungsten nitride films have shown much promise. Stability to annealing temperatures of 700, 800, and 550 C were achieved for overlays of silver, gold, and aluminum, respectively. The lower results for aluminum were not surprising because there is an eutectic that can form at a lower temperature. It seems that titanium and zirconium will remove the nitrogen from a tungsten nitride amorphous film and render it unstable. Other variables of research interest were substrate bias and base pressure during sputtering.

  10. Amorphous metallic films in silicon metallization systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    So, F.; Kolawa, E.; Nicolet, M. A.

    1985-01-01

    Diffusion barrier research was focussed on lowering the chemical reactivity of amorphous thin films on silicon. An additional area of concern is the reaction with metal overlays such as aluminum, silver, and gold. Gold was included to allow for technology transfer to gallium arsenide PV cells. Amorphous tungsten nitride films have shown much promise. Stability to annealing temperatures of 700, 800, and 550 C were achieved for overlays of silver, gold, and aluminum, respectively. The lower results for aluminum were not surprising because there is an eutectic that can form at a lower temperature. It seems that titanium and zirconium will remove the nitrogen from a tungsten nitride amorphous film and render it unstable. Other variables of research interest were substrate bias and base pressure during sputtering.

  11. High resolution amorphous silicon radiation detectors

    DOEpatents

    Street, Robert A.; Kaplan, Selig N.; Perez-Mendez, Victor

    1992-01-01

    A radiation detector employing amorphous Si:H cells in an array with each detector cell having at least three contiguous layers (n type, intrinsic, p type), positioned between two electrodes to which a bias voltage is applied. An energy conversion layer atop the silicon cells intercepts incident radiation and converts radiation energy to light energy of a wavelength to which the silicon cells are responsive. A read-out device, positioned proximate to each detector element in an array allows each such element to be interrogated independently to determine whether radiation has been detected in that cell. The energy conversion material may be a layer of luminescent material having a columnar structure. In one embodiment a column of luminescent material detects the passage therethrough of radiation to be detected and directs a light beam signal to an adjacent a-Si:H film so that detection may be confined to one or more such cells in the array. One or both electrodes may have a comb structure, and the teeth of each electrode comb may be interdigitated for capacitance reduction. The amorphous Si:H film may be replaced by an amorphous Si:Ge:H film in which up to 40 percent of the amorphous material is Ge. Two dimensional arrays may be used in X-ray imaging, CT scanning, crystallography, high energy physics beam tracking, nuclear medicine cameras and autoradiography.

  12. High resolution amorphous silicon radiation detectors

    DOEpatents

    Street, R.A.; Kaplan, S.N.; Perez-Mendez, V.

    1992-05-26

    A radiation detector employing amorphous Si:H cells in an array with each detector cell having at least three contiguous layers (n-type, intrinsic, p-type), positioned between two electrodes to which a bias voltage is applied. An energy conversion layer atop the silicon cells intercepts incident radiation and converts radiation energy to light energy of a wavelength to which the silicon cells are responsive. A read-out device, positioned proximate to each detector element in an array allows each such element to be interrogated independently to determine whether radiation has been detected in that cell. The energy conversion material may be a layer of luminescent material having a columnar structure. In one embodiment a column of luminescent material detects the passage therethrough of radiation to be detected and directs a light beam signal to an adjacent a-Si:H film so that detection may be confined to one or more such cells in the array. One or both electrodes may have a comb structure, and the teeth of each electrode comb may be interdigitated for capacitance reduction. The amorphous Si:H film may be replaced by an amorphous Si:Ge:H film in which up to 40 percent of the amorphous material is Ge. Two dimensional arrays may be used in X-ray imaging, CT scanning, crystallography, high energy physics beam tracking, nuclear medicine cameras and autoradiography. 18 figs.

  13. Amorphous molybdenum silicon superconducting thin films

    SciTech Connect

    Bosworth, D. Sahonta, S.-L.; Barber, Z. H.; Hadfield, R. H.

    2015-08-15

    Amorphous superconductors have become attractive candidate materials for superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors due to their ease of growth, homogeneity and competitive superconducting properties. To date the majority of devices have been fabricated using W{sub x}Si{sub 1−x}, though other amorphous superconductors such as molybdenum silicide (Mo{sub x}Si{sub 1−x}) offer increased transition temperature. This study focuses on the properties of MoSi thin films grown by magnetron sputtering. We examine how the composition and growth conditions affect film properties. For 100 nm film thickness, we report that the superconducting transition temperature (Tc) reaches a maximum of 7.6 K at a composition of Mo{sub 83}Si{sub 17}. The transition temperature and amorphous character can be improved by cooling of the substrate during growth which inhibits formation of a crystalline phase. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy studies confirm the absence of long range order. We observe that for a range of 6 common substrates (silicon, thermally oxidized silicon, R- and C-plane sapphire, x-plane lithium niobate and quartz), there is no variation in superconducting transition temperature, making MoSi an excellent candidate material for SNSPDs.

  14. Three dimensional amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Kaschmitter, James L.

    1996-01-01

    Three dimensional deep contact amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon (a-Si/.mu.c-Si) solar cells which use deep (high aspect ratio) p and n contacts to create high electric fields within the carrier collection volume material of the cell. The deep contacts are fabricated using repetitive pulsed laser doping so as to create the high aspect p and n contacts. By the provision of the deep contacts which penetrate the electric field deep into the material where the high strength of the field can collect many of the carriers, thereby resulting in a high efficiency solar cell.

  15. Three dimensional amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Kaschmitter, J.L.

    1996-07-23

    Three dimensional deep contact amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon (a-Si/{micro}c-Si) solar cells are disclosed which use deep (high aspect ratio) p and n contacts to create high electric fields within the carrier collection volume material of the cell. The deep contacts are fabricated using repetitive pulsed laser doping so as to create the high aspect p and n contacts. By the provision of the deep contacts which penetrate the electric field deep into the material where the high strength of the field can collect many of the carriers, thereby resulting in a high efficiency solar cell. 4 figs.

  16. Low temperature internal friction of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiao; Metcalf, Thomas; Jernigan, Glenn; Jugdersuren, Battogtokh; Kearney, Brian; Culberston, James

    The ubiquitous low-energy excitations, known as two-level tunnelling systems (TLS), are one of the universal phenomena of amorphous solids. These excitations dominate the acoustic, dielectric, and thermal properties of structurally disordered solids. Using the double-paddle oscillator internal friction measurement technique, we have shown that TLS can be made to almost completely disappear in e-beam deposited amorphous silicon (a-Si) as the growth temperature increased to 400°C. However, there is a mysterious broad maximum in internal friction at 2-3K, which we suspect to come from metallic contamination of our oscillators and is not related to a-Si. Our new result of a-Si, deposited in a different UHV system and on oscillators with a different type of metallic electrodes, confirms our suspicion. This lowers the upper bound of possible TLS content in a-Si, in terms of tunnelling strength, to below 10-6. Our results offer an encouraging opportunity to use growth temperature to improve the structure order of amorphous thin films and to develop high quality amorphous dielectrics for applications, such as in modern quantum devices. Work supported by the Office of Naval Research.

  17. Radiation resistance studies of amorphous silicon films

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodyard, James R.; Payson, J. Scott

    1989-01-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films were irradiated with 2.00 MeV helium ions using fluences ranging from 1E11 to 1E15 cm(-2). The films were characterized using photothermal deflection spectroscopy and photoconductivity measurements. The investigations show that the radiation introduces sub-band-gap states 1.35 eV below the conduction band and the states increase supralinearly with fluence. Photoconductivity measurements suggest the density of states above the Fermi energy is not changing drastically with fluence.

  18. Structural relaxation of vacancies in amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, E.; Lee, Y.H.; Chen, C.; Pang, T.

    1997-07-01

    The authors have studied the structural relaxation of vacancies in amorphous silicon (a-Si) using a tight-binding molecular-dynamics method. The most significant difference between vacancies in a-Si and those in crystalline silicon (c-Si) is that the deep gap states do not show up in a-Si. This difference is explained through the unusual behavior of the structural relaxation near the vacancies in a-Si, which enhances the sp{sup 2} + p bonding near the band edges. They have also observed that the vacancies do not migrate below 450 K although some of them can still be annihilated, particularly at high defect density due to large structural relaxation.

  19. The future of amorphous silicon photovoltaic technology

    SciTech Connect

    Crandall, R; Luft, W

    1995-06-01

    Amorphous silicon modules are commercially available. They are the first truly commercial thin-film photovoltaic (PV) devices. Well-defined production processes over very large areas (>1 m{sup 2}) have been implemented. There are few environmental issues during manufacturing, deployment in the field, or with the eventual disposal of the modules. Manufacturing safety issues are well characterized and controllable. The highest measured initial efficiency to date is 13.7% for a small triple-stacked cell and the highest stabilized module efficiency is 10%. There is a consensus among researchers, that in order to achieve a 15% stabilized efficiency, a triple-junction amorphous silicon structure is required. Fundamental improvements in alloys are needed for higher efficiencies. This is being pursued through the DOE/NREL Thin-Film Partnership Program. Cost reductions through improved manufacturing processes are being pursued under the National Renewable Energy Laboratory/US Department of Energy (NREL/DOE)-sponsored research in manufacturing technology (PVMaT). Much of the work in designing a-Si devices is a result of trying to compensate for the Staebler-Wronski effect. Some new deposition techniques hold promise because they have produced materials with lower stabilized defect densities. However, none has yet produced a high efficiency device and shown it to be more stable than those from standard glow discharge deposited material.

  20. Endurance Tests Of Amorphous-Silicon Photovoltaic Modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Ronald G., Jr.; Sugimura, Russell S.

    1989-01-01

    Failure mechanisms in high-power service studied. Report discusses factors affecting endurance of amorphous-silicon solar cells. Based on field tests and accelerated aging of photovoltaic modules. Concludes that aggressive research needed if amorphous-silicon modules to attain 10-year life - value U.S. Department of Energy established as goal for photovoltaic modules in commercial energy-generating plants.

  1. Superlattice doped layers for amorphous silicon photovoltaic cells

    DOEpatents

    Arya, Rajeewa R.

    1988-01-12

    Superlattice doped layers for amorphous silicon photovoltaic cells comprise a plurality of first and second lattices of amorphous silicon alternatingly formed on one another. Each of the first lattices has a first optical bandgap and each of the second lattices has a second optical bandgap different from the first optical bandgap. A method of fabricating the superlattice doped layers also is disclosed.

  2. Switching in coplanar amorphous hydrogenated silicon devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avila, A.; Asomoza, R.

    2000-01-01

    Switching has been observed in a wide variety of materials and devices. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon has become one of the most important cases because of interest in neural network applications. Although there are many reports regarding this phenomenon, not all of the physical processes involved are still determined precisely. Therefore, some more experimental information is needed in order to achieve this task. Much of the behavior of the devices has been ascribed to the existence of a filamentary region which is produced after the first switching process, called forming. We observed this filamentary region in its full extension by producing forming in amorphous silicon devices with coplanar metallic contacts placed near each other (˜5 μm). The I-V characteristics, filament optical and atomic force microscopy images and chemical etching led us to correlate changes in resistance to metal inclusion into the amorphous film. There are two stages: the first is related to contact stabilization, the second to metal transport into the film bulk. Optical images show a permanent filamentary region after forming. AFM images of these filaments showed that they are formed essentially by material accumulation between the contacts. This material tends to get some atomic arrangement, becoming a polycrystalline solid. If the device was led to breakdown, such accumulation becomes either a hillock or a thin conducting channel connecting both contacts. In the case of a switching filament, the accumulation tends to be a chain of smaller hillocks along the conduction path. Metal from the contacts remains in the conduction path after forming and chemical etching indicated that it is placed near the path core. Before forming, a tunneling transport process can be ascribed to the non-ohmic behavior of the samples during the first stage of metallic inclusion.

  3. Tritiated amorphous silicon films and devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosteski, Tome

    The do saddle-field glow discharge deposition technique has been used to bond tritium within an amorphous silicon thin film network using silane and elemental tritium in the glow discharge. The concentration of tritium is approximately 7 at. %. Minimal outgassing of tritium from tritiated hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H:T) at room temperature suggests that tritium is bonded stably. Tritium effusion only occurred at temperatures above the film's growth temperature. The radioactive decay of tritium results in the production of high-energy beta particles. Each beta particle can generate on average approximately 1300 electron-hole pairs in a-Si:H:T. Electrical conductivity of a-Si:H:T is shown to be due to a thermally activated process and due to the generation of excess carriers by the beta particles. p-i-n betavoltaic devices have been made with a-Si:H:T in the intrinsic (i-) region. The i-region consisted of either a-Si:H:T, or a thin section of a-Si:H:T (a Delta layer) sandwiched between undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). The excess carriers generated in the i-region are separated by the device's built-in electric field. Short-circuit currents (Isc ), open-circuit voltages (Voc), and power have been measured and correlated to the generation of excess carriers in the i-region. Good devices were made at a substrate temperature of 250°C and relatively large flow rates of silane and tritium; this ensures that there are more monohydride bonds than dihydride bonds. Under dark conditions, Isc, and Voc have been found to decrease rapidly. This is consistent with the production of silicon neutral dangling bonds (5 x 1017cm-3 per day) from the loss of tritium due to its transmutation into helium. Dangling bonds reduce carrier lifetime and weaken the electric field in the i-region. The short-circuit current from Delta layer devices decreased more slowly and settled to higher values for narrower Delta layers. This is because the dangling bonds are

  4. Deuterium magnetic resonance studies in amorphous and crystalline silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borzi, Raffaella

    Hydrogenation is essential for useful amorphous silicon films and devices. We used deuteron magnetic resonance (DMR) to investigate the hydrogen microstructure in amorphous and crystalline silicon. DMR line shapes analyses and longitudinal relaxation time studies can distinguish silicon-bonded deuterons from molecular deuterons. Our comparisons between crystalline and amorphous silicon have yielded new perspectives on the characterization of molecular hydrogen sites including interstitial tetragonal T-sites, and microvoids. Quantitative analyses of DMR line shapes and spin populations show that the fraction of interstitially trapped molecular hydrogen increases with increasing photovoltaic quality of the films.

  5. Theoretical studies of amorphous silicon and hydrogenated amorphous silicon with molecular dynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Kwon, I.

    1991-12-20

    Amorphous silicon (a-Si) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) have been studied with molecular dynamics simulations. The structural, vibrational, and electronic properties of these materials have been studied with computer-generated structural models and compare well with experimental observations. The stability of a-si and a-Si:H have been studied with the aim of understanding microscopic mechanisms underlying light-induced degradation in a-Si:H (the Staebler-Wronski effect). With a view to understanding thin film growth processes, a-Si films have been generated with molecular dynamics simulations by simulating the deposition of Si-clusters on a Si(111) substrate. A new two- and three-body interatomic potential for Si-H interactions has been developed. The structural properties of a-Si:H networks are in good agreement with experimental measurements. The presence of H atoms reduces strain and disorder relative to networks without H.

  6. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    Amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300 °C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

  7. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    With this study, amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300°C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

  8. Tunable plasticity in amorphous silicon carbide films.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Yusuke; Kim, Namjun; King, Sean W; Bielefeld, Jeff; Stebbins, Jonathan F; Dauskardt, Reinhold H

    2013-08-28

    Plasticity plays a crucial role in the mechanical behavior of engineering materials. For instance, energy dissipation during plastic deformation is vital to the sufficient fracture resistance of engineering materials. Thus, the lack of plasticity in brittle hybrid organic-inorganic glasses (hybrid glasses) often results in a low fracture resistance and has been a significant challenge for their integration and applications. Here, we demonstrate that hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide films, a class of hybrid glasses, can exhibit a plasticity that is even tunable by controlling their molecular structure and thereby leads to an increased and adjustable fracture resistance in the films. We decouple the plasticity contribution from the fracture resistance of the films by estimating the "work-of-fracture" using a mean-field approach, which provides some insight into a potential connection between the onset of plasticity in the films and the well-known rigidity percolation threshold.

  9. Radiation resistance studies of amorphous silicon films

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Payson, J. Scott; Woodyard, James R.

    1988-01-01

    A study of hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films irradiated with 2.00 MeV helium ions using fluences ranging from 1E11 to 1E15/sq cm is presented. The films were characterized using photothermal deflection spectroscopy, transmission and reflection spectroscopy, and photoconductivity and annealing measurements. Large changes were observed in the subband-gap optical absorption for energies between 0.9 and 1.7 eV. The steady-state photoconductivity showed decreases of almost five orders of magnitude for a fluence of 1E15/sq cm, but the slope of the intensity dependence of the photoconductivity remained almost constant for all fluences. Substantial annealing occurs even at room temperature, and for temperatures greater than 448 K the damage is completely annealed. The data are analyzed to describe the defects and the density of states function.

  10. Energy landscape of relaxed amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valiquette, Francis; Mousseau, Normand

    2003-09-01

    We analyze the structure of the energy landscape of a well-relaxed 1000-atom model of amorphous silicon using the activation-relaxation technique (ART nouveau). Generating more than 40 000 events starting from a single minimum, we find that activated mechanisms are local in nature, that they are distributed uniformly throughout the model, and that the activation energy is limited by the cost of breaking one bond, independently of the complexity of the mechanism. The overall shape of the activation-energy-barrier distribution is also insensitive to the exact details of the configuration, indicating that well-relaxed configurations see essentially the same environment. These results underscore the localized nature of relaxation in this material.

  11. Spectrometric characterization of amorphous silicon PIN detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leyva, A.; Ramírez, F. J.; Ortega, Y.; Estrada, M.; Cabal, A.; Cerdeira, A.; Díaz, A.

    2000-10-01

    During the last years, much interest has been dedicated to the use of amorphous silicon PIN diodes as particle and radiation detectors for medical applications. This work presents the spectrometric characterization of PECVD high deposition rate diodes fabricated at our laboratory, with thickness up to 17.5 μm. Results show that the studied devices detect the Am241 alpha particles and the medical X-rays generated by a mammograph model Senographe 700T from General Electric Possible reasons of the observed energy losses are discussed in the text. Using the SRIM2000 program, the transit of 5.5 MeV alpha particles through a diode was simulated, determining the optimum thickness for these particles to deposit their energy in the intrinsic layer of the diode.

  12. Direct-patterned optical waveguides on amorphous silicon films

    DOEpatents

    Vernon, Steve; Bond, Tiziana C.; Bond, Steven W.; Pocha, Michael D.; Hau-Riege, Stefan

    2005-08-02

    An optical waveguide structure is formed by embedding a core material within a medium of lower refractive index, i.e. the cladding. The optical index of refraction of amorphous silicon (a-Si) and polycrystalline silicon (p-Si), in the wavelength range between about 1.2 and about 1.6 micrometers, differ by up to about 20%, with the amorphous phase having the larger index. Spatially selective laser crystallization of amorphous silicon provides a mechanism for controlling the spatial variation of the refractive index and for surrounding the amorphous regions with crystalline material. In cases where an amorphous silicon film is interposed between layers of low refractive index, for example, a structure comprised of a SiO.sub.2 substrate, a Si film and an SiO.sub.2 film, the formation of guided wave structures is particularly simple.

  13. Computer-assisted infrared spectra interpretation for amorphous silicon alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kavak, Hamide; Esen, Ramazan

    2005-12-01

    A computer program for the structural interpretation of the infrared (IR) spectra is developed and tested. The interpretation of the IR spectra is made by using an hybrid system which includes library search and rule-based interpretation methods together. The computer programs were written in Pascal Codes. The prototype IR library of silicon alloys includes amorphous silicon (a-Si), amorphous silicon dioxide (a-SiOx), amorphous silicon nitride (a-Si3N4) and amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC) references. The known spectra of these compounds were fed into the system as an unknown samples. The performance of the developed program was evaluated on a test set of 157 spectra and the percentages of successful identification ranged between 78% and 99% for different alloys.

  14. RF Sputtering for preparing substantially pure amorphous silicon monohydride

    DOEpatents

    Jeffrey, Frank R.; Shanks, Howard R.

    1982-10-12

    A process for controlling the dihydride and monohydride bond densities in hydrogenated amorphous silicon produced by reactive rf sputtering of an amorphous silicon target. There is provided a chamber with an amorphous silicon target and a substrate therein with the substrate and the target positioned such that when rf power is applied to the target the substrate is in contact with the sputtering plasma produced thereby. Hydrogen and argon are fed to the chamber and the pressure is reduced in the chamber to a value sufficient to maintain a sputtering plasma therein, and then rf power is applied to the silicon target to provide a power density in the range of from about 7 watts per square inch to about 22 watts per square inch to sputter an amorphous silicon hydride onto the substrate, the dihydride bond density decreasing with an increase in the rf power density. Substantially pure monohydride films may be produced.

  15. Microcavity effects in the photoluminescence of hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serpenguzel, Ali; Aydinli, Atilla; Bek, Alpan

    1998-07-01

    Fabry-Perot microcavities are used for the alteration of photoluminescence in hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride grown with and without ammonia. The photoluminescence is red-near-infrared for the samples grown without ammonia, and blue-green for the samples grown with ammonia. In the Fabry- Perot microcavities, the amplitude of the photoluminescence is enhanced, while its linewidth is reduced with respect to the bulk hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride. The microcavity was realized by a metallic back mirror and a hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride--air or a metallic front mirror. The transmittance, reflectance, and absorbance spectra were also measured and calculated. The calculated spectra agree well with the experimental spectra. The hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride microcavity has potential for becoming a versatile silicon based optoelectronic device such as a color flat panel display, a resonant cavity enhanced light emitting diode, or a laser.

  16. Excimer laser crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Dai Yongbing; Xu Zhongyang; Wang Changan; Zhang Shaoqiang; An Chengwu; Li Xingjiao; Wan Xinheng; Ding Hui

    1996-12-31

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films have been crystallized by the irradiations of XeCl excimer laser. The crystallized films have been examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD) and conductivity measurements to clarify their morphologies, structure and electrical properties. The results show that a high conductive super thin layer is formed by a single pulse laser irradiation with the energy density of 75mJ/cm{sup 2}. The conductivity increases quickly at laser energy density threshold which decreases when the hydrogen in a-Si:H films is removed by pre-annealing. During crystallization process, oxygen atoms from the air ambient have been introduced into the films and such an introducing process is hindered by the hydrogen eruption. When the oxygen content is high enough, the carrier-transport mechanism includes thermionic emission (TE) and thermionic field emission (TFE) in the vicinity of room temperature, which is similar to semi-insulating polycrystalline silicon (SIPOS).

  17. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    DOE PAGES

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    With this study, amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphousmore » silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300°C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.« less

  18. Process for producing amorphous and crystalline silicon nitride

    DOEpatents

    Morgan, Peter E. D.; Pugar, Eloise A.

    1985-01-01

    A process for producing amorphous or crystalline silicon nitride is disclosed which comprises reacting silicon disulfide ammonia gas at elevated temperature. In a preferred embodiment silicon disulfide in the form of "whiskers" or needles is heated at temperature ranging from about 900.degree. C. to about 1200.degree. C. to produce silicon nitride which retains the whisker or needle morphological characteristics of the silicon disulfide. Silicon carbide, e.g. in the form of whiskers, also can be prepared by reacting substituted ammonia, e.g. methylamine, or a hydrocarbon containing active hydrogen-containing groups, such as ethylene, with silicon disulfide, at elevated temperature, e.g. 900.degree. C.

  19. Process for producing amorphous and crystalline silicon nitride

    DOEpatents

    Morgan, P.E.D.; Pugar, E.A.

    1985-11-12

    A process for producing amorphous or crystalline silicon nitride is disclosed which comprises reacting silicon disulfide ammonia gas at elevated temperature. In a preferred embodiment silicon disulfide in the form of whiskers'' or needles is heated at temperature ranging from about 900 C to about 1,200 C to produce silicon nitride which retains the whisker or needle morphological characteristics of the silicon disulfide. Silicon carbide, e.g. in the form of whiskers, also can be prepared by reacting substituted ammonia, e.g. methylamine, or a hydrocarbon containing active hydrogen-containing groups, such as ethylene, with silicon disulfide, at elevated temperature, e.g. 900 C. 6 figs.

  20. Proton NMR studies of PECVD hydrogenated amorphous silicon films and HWCVD hydrogenated amorphous silicon films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herberg, Julie Lynn

    This dissertation discusses a new understanding of the internal structure of hydrogenated amorphous silicon. Recent research in our group has included nuclear spin echo double resonance (SEDOR) measurements on device quality hydrogenated amorphous silicon photovoltaic films. Using the SEDOR pulse sequence with and without the perturbing 29Si pulse, we obtain Fourier transform spectra for film at 80K that allows us to distinguish between molecular hydrogen and hydrogen bonded to silicon. Using such an approach, we have demonstrated that high quality a-Si:H films produced by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) from SiH 4 contains about ten atomic percent hydrogen, nearly 40% of which is molecular hydrogen, individually trapped in the amorphous equivalent of tetragonal sites (T-sites). The main objective of this dissertation is to examine the difference between a-Si:H made by PECVD techniques and a-Si:H made by Hot Wire Chemical Vapor Deposition (HWCVD) techniques. Proton NMR and 1H- 29Si SEDOR NMR are used to examine the hydrogen structure of HWCVD a-Si:H films prepared at the University of Utrecht and at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Past NMR studies have shown that high quality PECVD a-Si:H films have geometries in which 40% of the contained hydrogen is present as H2 molecules individually trapped in the amorphous equivalent of T-sites. A much smaller H2 fraction sometimes is physisorbed on internal surfaces. In this dissertation, similar NMR methods are used to perform structural studies of the two HWCVD aSi:H samples. The 3kHz resonance line from T-site-trapped H2 molecules shows a hole-burn behavior similar to that found for PECVD a-Si:H films as does the 24kHz FWHM line from clustered hydrogen bonded to silicon. Radio frequency hole-burning is a tool to distinguish between inhomogenous and homogeneous broadening. In the hole-burn experiments, the 3kHz FWHM resonance line from T-site-trapped H2 molecules shows a hole

  1. Construction and characterization of amorphous-silicon test structures

    SciTech Connect

    Koppel, L.N.; Milgram, A.A.

    1987-08-01

    The central goal of the project was to qualify amorphous silicon, a newly developed semiconductor material, as the basis for economical large-area photoconductive detectors of penetrating radiation. The thrust of the project was to establish the feasibility of constructing photoconductive amorphous-silicon devices whose electronic properties supported the radiation detection application. This issue of feasibility was successfully resolved by construction and experimental characterization of amorphous-silicon test pieces representative of the existing state-of-the-art. The focus of this work was the measurement of material electronic properties known to affect the performance of solid-state radiation detectors, and the investigation of candidate junction-device architectures. The construction and experimental evaluation of prototype radiation detectors based on amorphous silicon was beyond the scope of the current effort, and will form the core of work to be accomplished within a Phase II continuation of the project.

  2. Polarization effects in femtosecond laser induced amorphization of monocrystalline silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Feng; Li, Hong-Jin; Huang, Yuan-Yuan; Fan, Wen-Zhong; Pan, Huai-Hai; Wang, Zhuo; Wang, Cheng-Wei; Qian, Jing; Li, Yang-Bo; Zhao, Quan-Zhong

    2016-10-01

    We have used femtosecond laser pulses to ablate monocrystalline silicon wafer. Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis of ablation surface indicates horizontally polarized laser beam shows an enhancement in amorphization efficiency by a factor of 1.6-1.7 over the circularly polarized laser ablation. This demonstrates that one can tune the amorphization efficiency through the polarization of irradiation laser.

  3. Hydrogen effusion from tritiated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kherani, N. P.; Liu, B.; Virk, K.; Kosteski, T.; Gaspari, F.; Shmayda, W. T.; Zukotynski, S.; Chen, K. P.

    2008-01-01

    Results for the effusion and outgassing of tritium from tritiated hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H:T) films are presented. The samples were grown by dc-saddle field glow discharge at various substrate temperatures between 150 and 300°C. The tracer property of radioactive tritium is used to detect tritium release. Tritium effusion measurements are performed in a nonvacuum ion chamber and are found to yield similar results as reported for standard high vacuum technique. The results suggest for decreasing substrate temperature the growth of material with an increasing concentration of voids. These data are corroborated by analysis of infrared absorption data in terms of microstructure parameters. For material of low substrate temperature (and high void concentration) tritium outgassing in air at room temperature was studied, and it was found that after 600h about 0.2% of the total hydrogen (hydrogen+tritium) content is released. Two rate limiting processes are identified. The first process, fast tritium outgassing with a time constant of 15h, seems to be related to surface desorption of tritiated water (HTO) with a free energy of desorption of 1.04eV. The second process, slow tritium outgassing with a time constant of 200-300h, appears to be limited by oxygen diffusivity in a growing oxide layer. This material of lowest H stability would lose half of the hydrogen after 60years.

  4. Amorphous Silicon: Flexible Backplane and Display Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarma, Kalluri R.

    Advances in the science and technology of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H, also referred to as a-Si) and the associated devices including thin-film transistors (TFT) during the past three decades have had a profound impact on the development and commercialization of major applications such as thin-film solar cells, digital image scanners and X-ray imagers and active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs). Particularly, during approximately the past 15 years, a-Si TFT-based flat panel AMLCDs have been a huge commercial success. a-Si TFT-LCD has enabled the note book PCs, and is now rapidly replacing the venerable CRT in the desktop monitor and home TV applications. a-Si TFT-LCD is now the dominant technology in use for applications ranging from small displays such as in mobile phones to large displays such as in home TV, as well-specialized applications such as industrial and avionics displays.

  5. Silicon heterojunction solar cell and crystallization of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Meijun

    The rapid growth of photovoltaics in the past decade brings on the soaring price and demand for crystalline silicon. Hence it becomes necessary and also profitable to develop solar cells with over 20% efficiency, using thin (˜100mum) silicon wafers. In this respect, diffused junction cells are not the best choice, since the inescapable heating in the diffusion process not only makes it hard to handle thin wafers, but also reduces carriers' bulk lifetime and impairs the crystal quality of the substrate, which could lower cell efficiency. An alternative is the heterojunction cells, such as amorphous silicon/crystalline silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cell, where the emitter layer can be grown at low temperature (<200°C). In first part of this dissertation, I will introduce our work on front-junction SHJ solar cell, including the importance of intrinsic buffer layer; the discussion on the often observed anomalous "S"-shaped J-V curve (low fill factor) by using band diagram analysis; the surface passivation quality of intrinsic buffer and its relationship to the performance of front-junction SHJ cells. Although the a-Si:H is found to help to achieve high efficiency in c-Si heterojuntion solar cells, it also absorbs short wavelength (<600 nm) light, leading to non-ideal blue response and lower short circuit currents (JSC) in the front-junction SHJ cells. Considering this, heterojunction with both a-Si:H emitter and base contact on the back side in an interdigitated pattern, i.e. interdigitated back contact silicon heterojunction (IBC-SHJ) solar cell, is developed. This dissertation will show our progress in developing IBC-SHJ solar cells, including the structure design; device fabrication and characterization; two dimensional simulation by using simulator Sentaurus Device; some special features of IBC-SHJ solar cells; and performance of IBC-SHJ cells without and with back surface buffer layers. Another trend for solar cell industry is thin film solar cells, since

  6. Electrical characteristics of amorphous iron-tungsten contacts on silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finetti, M.; Pan, E. T.-S.; Nicolet, M.-A.; Suni, I.

    1983-01-01

    The electrical characteristics of amorphous Fe-W contacts have been determined on both p-type and n-type silicon. The amorphous films were obtained by cosputtering from a composite target. Contact resistivities of 1 x 10 to the -7th and 2.8 x 10 to the -6th were measured on n(+) and p(+) silicon, respectively. These values remain constant after thermal treatment up to at least 500 C. A barrier height of 0.61 V was measured on n-type silicon.

  7. Theoretical studies of amorphous and paracrystalline silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakhmanson, Serge M.

    Until recently, structural models used to represent amorphous silicon (a-Si) in computer simulations were either perfectly fourfold connected random networks or random networks containing only miscoordinated atoms. These models are an approximation to the structure of the real material and do not uniformly comply with all the experimental data for a-Si. In this dissertation we make an attempt to go beyond this approximation and construct and examine models that have two major types of defects, encountered in real material, in their structure---nanovoids and crystalline grains. For our study of voids in a-Si we have calculated vibrational properties of structural models of a-Si with and without voids using ab initio and empirical molecular dynamics techniques. A small 216 atom and a large 4096 atom continuous random network (CRN) models for a-Si have been employed as starting points for our a-Si models with voids. Our calculations show that the presence of voids leads to an emergence of localized low-energy states in the vibrational spectrum of the model system. Moreover, it appears that these states are responsible for the anomalous behavior of system's specific heat at very low temperatures. To our knowledge these are the first numerical simulations that provide adequate agreement with experiment for the very low-temperature properties of specific heat in disordered materials within the limits of harmonic approximation. For our study of crystalline grains in a-Si we have developed a new procedure for the preparation of physically realistic models of paracrystalline silicon based on a modification of the bond-switching method of Wooten, Winer, and Weaire. Our models contain randomly oriented c-Si grains embedded in a disordered matrix. Our technique creates interfaces between the crystalline and disordered phases of Si with an extremely low concentration of coordination defects. The resulting models possess structural and vibrational properties comparable with

  8. Electronic structure and localized states in a model amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allan, G.; Delerue, C.; Lannoo, M.

    1998-03-01

    The electronic structure of a model amorphous silicon (a-Si) represented by a supercell of 4096 silicon atoms [B.R. Djordjevic, M.F. Thorpe, and F. Wooten, Phys. Rev. B 52, 5685 (1995)] and of a model hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) that we have built from the a-Si model are calculated in the tight-binding approximation. The band edges near the gap are characterized by exponential tails of localized states induced mainly by the variations in bond angles. The spatial localization of the states is compared between a-Si and a-Si:H. Comparison with experiments suggests that the structural models give good descriptions of the amorphous materials.

  9. Transmissive metallic contact for amorphous silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Madan, A.

    1984-11-29

    A transmissive metallic contact for amorphous silicon semiconductors includes a thin layer of metal, such as aluminum or other low work function metal, coated on the amorphous silicon with an antireflective layer coated on the metal. A transparent substrate, such as glass, is positioned on the light reflective layer. The metallic layer is preferably thin enough to transmit at least 50% of light incident thereon, yet thick enough to conduct electricity. The antireflection layer is preferably a transparent material that has a refractive index in the range of 1.8 to 2.2 and is approximately 550A to 600A thick.

  10. Amorphous silicon oxide window layers for high-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peter Seif, Johannes; Descoeudres, Antoine; Filipič, Miha; Smole, Franc; Topič, Marko; Charles Holman, Zachary; De Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    In amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells, optical losses can be mitigated by replacing the amorphous silicon films by wider bandgap amorphous silicon oxide layers. In this article, we use stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon oxide as front intrinsic buffer layers and show that this increases the short-circuit current density by up to 0.43 mA/cm2 due to less reflection and a higher transparency at short wavelengths. Additionally, high open-circuit voltages can be maintained, thanks to good interface passivation. However, we find that the gain in current is more than offset by losses in fill factor. Aided by device simulations, we link these losses to impeded carrier collection fundamentally caused by the increased valence band offset at the amorphous/crystalline interface. Despite this, carrier extraction can be improved by raising the temperature; we find that cells with amorphous silicon oxide window layers show an even lower temperature coefficient than reference heterojunction solar cells (-0.1%/°C relative drop in efficiency, compared to -0.3%/°C). Hence, even though cells with oxide layers do not outperform cells with the standard design at room temperature, at higher temperatures—which are closer to the real working conditions encountered in the field—they show superior performance in both experiment and simulation.

  11. Theoretical estimation of static charge fluctuation in amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kugler, Sándor; Surján, Péter R.; Náray-Szabó, Gábor

    1988-05-01

    A quantum-chemical method has been developed to determine charge fluctuations in finite aperiodic clusters of amorphous silicon. Calculated atomic net charges are in a close linear relationship to bond-angle distortions involving first and second neighbors. Applying this relationship to a continuous-random-network model of 216 silicon atoms proposed by Wooten et al., we obtained 0.021 electron units for the rms deviation from charge neutrality.

  12. Gamma radiation effects in amorphous silicon and silicon nitride photonic devices.

    PubMed

    Du, Qingyang; Huang, Yizhong; Ogbuu, Okechukwu; Zhang, Wei; Li, Junying; Singh, Vivek; Agarwal, Anuradha M; Hu, Juejun

    2017-02-01

    Understanding radiation damage is of significant importance for devices operating in radiation-harsh environments. In this Letter, we present a systematic study on gamma radiation effects in amorphous silicon and silicon nitride guided wave devices. It is found that gamma radiation increases the waveguide modal effective indices by as much as 4×10-3 in amorphous silicon and 5×10-4 in silicon nitride at 10 Mrad dose. This Letter further reveals that surface oxidation and radiation-induced densification account for the observed index change.

  13. Threshold irradiation dose for amorphization of silicon carbide

    SciTech Connect

    Snead, L.L.; Zinkle, S.J.

    1997-04-01

    The amorphization of silicon carbide due to ion and electron irradiation is reviewed with emphasis on the temperature-dependent critical dose for amorphization. The effect of ion mass and energy on the threshold dose for amorphization is summarized, showing only a weak dependence near room temperature. Results are presented for 0.56 MeV silicon ions implanted into single crystal 6H-SiC as a function of temperature and ion dose. From this, the critical dose for amorphization is found as a function of temperature at depths well separated from the implanted ion region. Results are compared with published data generated using electrons and xenon ions as the irradiating species. High resolution TEM analysis is presented for the Si ion series showing the evolution of elongated amorphous islands oriented such that their major axis is parallel to the free surface. This suggests that surface of strain effects may be influencing the apparent amorphization threshold. Finally, a model for the temperature threshold for amorphization is described using the Si ion irradiation flux and the fitted interstitial migration energy which was found to be {approximately}0.56 eV. This model successfully explains the difference in the temperature-dependent amorphization behavior of SiC irradiated with 0.56 MeV silicon ions at 1 x 10{sup {minus}3} dpa/s and with fission neutrons irradiated at 1 x 10{sup {minus}6} dpa/s irradiated to 15 dpa in the temperature range of {approximately}340 {+-} 10K.

  14. Laterally inherently thin amorphous-crystalline silicon heterojunction photovoltaic cell

    SciTech Connect

    Chowdhury, Zahidur R. Kherani, Nazir P.

    2014-12-29

    This article reports on an amorphous-crystalline silicon heterojunction photovoltaic cell concept wherein the heterojunction regions are laterally narrow and distributed amidst a backdrop of well-passivated crystalline silicon surface. The localized amorphous-crystalline silicon heterojunctions consisting of the laterally thin emitter and back-surface field regions are precisely aligned under the metal grid-lines and bus-bars while the remaining crystalline silicon surface is passivated using the recently proposed facile grown native oxide–plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposited silicon nitride passivation scheme. The proposed cell concept mitigates parasitic optical absorption losses by relegating amorphous silicon to beneath the shadowed metallized regions and by using optically transparent passivation layer. A photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 13.6% is obtained for an untextured proof-of-concept cell illuminated under AM 1.5 global spectrum; the specific cell performance parameters are V{sub OC} of 666 mV, J{sub SC} of 29.5 mA-cm{sup −2}, and fill-factor of 69.3%. Reduced parasitic absorption, predominantly in the shorter wavelength range, is confirmed with external quantum efficiency measurement.

  15. Integral bypass diodes in an amorphous silicon alloy photovoltaic module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanak, J. J.; Flaisher, H.

    1991-01-01

    Thin-film, tandem-junction, amorphous silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic modules were constructed in which a part of the a-Si alloy cell material is used to form bypass protection diodes. This integral design circumvents the need for incorporating external, conventional diodes, thus simplifying the manufacturing process and reducing module weight.

  16. Ultrasonic attenuation in amorphous silicon at 50 and 100 GHz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hondongwa, D. B.; Daly, B. C.; Norris, T. B.; Yan, B.; Yang, J.; Guha, S.

    2011-03-01

    We have measured the attenuation of longitudinal acoustic waves in a series of amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon films using picosecond ultrasonics. The films were grown using a modified very high frequency glow discharge method on steel substrates. The deposition conditions were similar to that used in the fabrication of high-efficiency solar cells. The film thicknesses were varied so we could distinguish between interface losses and intrinsic losses within the silicon films. We determine the attenuation of amorphous Si to be 780 ± 160 cm-1 at 100 GHz and 340 ± 120 cm-1 at 50 GHz, values that are lower than those predicted by theories based on anharmonic interactions of the sound wave with localized phonons or extended resonant modes. We determine the attenuation of nanocrystalline Si at 50 GHz to be nearly an order of magnitude higher than amorphous Si (2600 ± 660 cm-1) and compare that value to a simple Rayleigh scattering prediction.

  17. Silicon nanoparticle optimization and integration into amorphous silicon via PECVD for use in photovoltaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klafehn, Grant W.

    An alternative approach to traditional growth methods of nanocrystalline material is co-deposition by injection of separately synthesized silicon nanoparticles into amorphous silicon. Current methods of co-deposition of silicon nanoparticles and amorphous silicon via plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition allow the two reactors' pressures to affect each other, leading to either poor amorphous silicon quality or uncontrollable nanoparticle size and deposition rate. In this thesis, a technique for greater control of stand-alone silicon nanoparticle size and quality grown was achieved by using a slit nozzle. The nozzle was used to separate the nanoparticle and amorphous reactors, allowing for the ability to control nanoparticle size, crystallinity, and deposition rate during co-deposition, while still allowing for high quality amorphous silicon growth. Changing the width of the nozzle allowed for control of the size of the nanoparticles from 10 to 4.5 nm in diameter, and allowed for the precursor gas flow rate, and thus deposition rate, to be changed with only a 6 % change in size estimated from luminescence emission wavelength. Co-deposited samples were grown within a broad range of flow rates for the silicon nanoparticle precursor gas, resulting in each sample having a different crystal fraction. FTIR, PL, Raman, and XRD were used to analyze their composition. The silicon nanoparticle synthesis was separately optimized to control size and crystallinity, and the influence of the nanoparticle process gases on amorphous silicon growth was also explored. Finally, COMSOL simulations were performed to support and possibly predict Si-NP growth variables that pertain to Si-NP size.

  18. Deposition of device quality low H content, amorphous silicon films

    DOEpatents

    Mahan, Archie H.; Carapella, Jeffrey C.; Gallagher, Alan C.

    1995-01-01

    A high quality, low hydrogen content, hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) film is deposited by passing a stream of silane gas (SiH.sub.4) over a high temperature, 2000.degree. C., tungsten (W) filament in the proximity of a high temperature, 400.degree. C., substrate within a low pressure, 8 mTorr, deposition chamber. The silane gas is decomposed into atomic hydrogen and silicon, which in turn collides preferably not more than 20-30 times before being deposited on the hot substrate. The hydrogenated amorphous silicon films thus produced have only about one atomic percent hydrogen, yet have device quality electrical, chemical, and structural properties, despite this lowered hydrogen content.

  19. Deposition of device quality low H content, amorphous silicon films

    DOEpatents

    Mahan, A.H.; Carapella, J.C.; Gallagher, A.C.

    1995-03-14

    A high quality, low hydrogen content, hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) film is deposited by passing a stream of silane gas (SiH{sub 4}) over a high temperature, 2,000 C, tungsten (W) filament in the proximity of a high temperature, 400 C, substrate within a low pressure, 8 mTorr, deposition chamber. The silane gas is decomposed into atomic hydrogen and silicon, which in turn collides preferably not more than 20--30 times before being deposited on the hot substrate. The hydrogenated amorphous silicon films thus produced have only about one atomic percent hydrogen, yet have device quality electrical, chemical, and structural properties, despite this lowered hydrogen content. 7 figs.

  20. Computer models for amorphous silicon hydrides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mousseau, Normand; Lewis, Laurent J.

    1990-02-01

    A procedure for generating fully coordinated model structures appropriate to hydrogenated amorphous semiconductors is described. The hydrogen is incorporated into an amorphous matrix using a bond-switching process similar to that proposed by Wooten, Winer, and Weaire, which ensures that fourfold coordination is preserved. After each inclusion of hydrogen, the structure is relaxed using a finite-temperature Monte Carlo algorithm. The method is applied to a-Si:H at various hydrogen concentrations. The resulting model structures are found to be in excellent agreement with recent neutron-scattering measurements on a sample with 12 at. % H. Our prescription, which is essentially nonlocal, allows great flexibility and can easily be extended to related systems.

  1. Heat-Induced Agglomeration of Amorphous Silicon Nanoparticles Toward the Formation of Silicon Thin Film.

    PubMed

    Jang, Bo Yun; Kim, Ja Young; Seo, Gyeongju; Shin, Chae-Ho; Ko, Chang Hyun

    2016-01-01

    The thermal behavior of silicon nanoparticles (Si NPs) was investigated for the preparation of silicon thin film using a solution process. TEM analysis of Si NPs, synthesized by inductively coupled plasma, revealed that the micro-structure of the Si NPs was amorphous and that the Si NPs had melted and merged at a comparatively low temperature (~750 °C) considering bulk melting temperature of silicon (1414 °C). A silicon ink solution was prepared by dispersing amorphous Si NPs in propylene glycol (PG). It was then coated onto a silicon wafer and a quartz plate to form a thin film. These films were annealed in a vacuum or in an N₂ environment to increase their film density. N2 annealing at 800 °C and 1000 °C induced the crystallization of the amorphous thin film. An elemental analysis by the SIMS depth profile showed that N₂annealing at 1000 °C for 180 min drastically reduced the concentrations of carbon and oxygen inside the silicon thin film. These results indicate that silicon ink prepared using amorphous Si NPs in PG can serve as a proper means of preparing silicon thin film via solution process.

  2. Light-induced metastable structural changes in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Fritzsche, H.

    1996-09-01

    Light-induced defects (LID) in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and its alloys limit the ultimate efficiency of solar panels made with these materials. This paper reviews a variety of attempts to find the origin of and to eliminate the processes that give rise to LIDs. These attempts include novel deposition processes and the reduction of impurities. Material improvements achieved over the past decade are associated more with the material`s microstructure than with eliminating LIDs. We conclude that metastable LIDs are a natural by-product of structural changes which are generally associated with non-radiative electron-hole recombination in amorphous semiconductors.

  3. Excimer laser crystallization of amorphous silicon on metallic substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delachat, F.; Antoni, F.; Slaoui, A.; Cayron, C.; Ducros, C.; Lerat, J.-F.; Emeraud, T.; Negru, R.; Huet, K.; Reydet, P.-L.

    2013-06-01

    An attempt has been made to achieve the crystallization of silicon thin film on metallic foils by long pulse duration excimer laser processing. Amorphous silicon thin films (100 nm) were deposited by radiofrequency magnetron sputtering on a commercial metallic alloy (N42-FeNi made of 41 % of Ni) coated by a tantalum nitride (TaN) layer. The TaN coating acts as a barrier layer, preventing the diffusion of metallic impurities in the silicon thin film during the laser annealing. An energy density threshold of 0.3 J cm-2, necessary for surface melting and crystallization of the amorphous silicon, was predicted by a numerical simulation of laser-induced phase transitions and witnessed by Raman analysis. Beyond this fluence, the melt depth increases with the intensification of energy density. A complete crystallization of the layer is achieved for an energy density of 0.9 J cm-2. Scanning electron microscopy unveils the nanostructuring of the silicon after laser irradiation, while cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy reveals the crystallites' columnar growth.

  4. Use of Tritium in the Study of defects in Amorphous Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Costea, S.; Pisana, S.; Kherani, N.P.; Gaspari, F.; Kosteski, T.; Shmayda, W.T.; Zukotynski, S.

    2005-11-28

    Hydrogen is known to strongly affect the physical properties of amorphous semiconductors. Indeed hydrogen is introduced during the growth of amorphous silicon films, used in active matrix displays and solar cells, to passivate silicon dangling bonds and to relax the lattice thereby reducing the density of states in the energy gap by several orders of magnitude and giving rise to device grade material. Ideally, hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is a continuous covalently bonded random network of silicon-silicon and silicon-hydrogen atoms, with the predominant nearest neighbour environment similar to that of crystalline silicon.

  5. Electrochemical degradation of amorphous-silicon photovoltaic modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mon, G. R.; Ross, R. G., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Techniques of module electrochemical corrosion research, developed during reliability studies of crystalline-silicon modules (C-Si), have been applied to this new investigation into amorphous-silicon (a-Si) module reliability. Amorphous-Si cells, encapsulated in the polymers polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), were exposed for more than 1200 hours in a controlled 85 C/85 percent RH environment, with a constant 500 volts applied between the cells and an aluminum frame. Plotting power output reduction versus charge transferred reveals that about 50 percent a-Si cell failures can be expected with the passage of 0.1 to 1.0 Coulomb/cm of cell-frame edge length; this threshold is somewhat less than that determined for C-Si modules.

  6. Spherical silicon photonic microcavities: From amorphous to polycrystalline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenollosa, R.; Garín, M.; Meseguer, F.

    2016-06-01

    Shaping silicon as a spherical object is not an obvious task, especially when the object size is in the micrometer range. This has the important consequence of transforming bare silicon material in a microcavity, so it is able to confine light efficiently. Here, we have explored the inside volume of such microcavities, both in their amorphous and in their polycrystalline versions. The synthesis method, which is based on chemical vapor deposition, causes amorphous microspheres to have a high content of hydrogen that produces an onionlike distributed porous core when the microspheres are crystallized by a fast annealing regime. This substantially influences the resonant modes. However, a slow crystallization regime does not yield pores, and produces higher-quality-factor resonances that could be fitted to the Mie theory. This allows the establishment of a procedure for obtaining size calibration standards with relative errors of the order of 0.1%.

  7. Quantum efficiencies exceeding unity in amorphous silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Vanmaekelbergh, D.; Lagemaat, J. van de; Schropp, R.E.I.

    1994-12-31

    The experimental observation of internal quantum efficiencies above unity in crystalline silicon solar cells has brought up the question whether the generation of multiple electron/hole pairs has to be taken into consideration also in solar cells based on direct gap amorphous semiconductors. To study photogenerated carrier dynamics, the authors have applied Intensity Modulated Photocurrent Spectroscopy (IMPS) to hydrogenated amorphous silicon p-i-n solar cells. In the reverse voltage bias region at low illumination intensities it has been observed that the low frequency limit of the AC quantum yield Y increases significantly above unit with decreasing light intensity, indicating that more than one electron per photon is detected in the external circuit. This phenomenon can be explained by considering trapping and thermal emission of photogenerated carriers at intragap atmospheric dangling bond defect centers.

  8. The reliability and stability of multijunction amorphous silicon PV modules

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, D.E.

    1995-11-01

    Solarex is developing a manufacturing process for the commercial production of 8 ft{sup 2} multijunction amorphous silicon (a-Si) PV modules starting in 1996. The device structure used in these multijunction modules is: glass/textured tin oxide/p-i-n/p-i-n/ZnO/Al/EVA/Tedlar where the back junction of the tandem structure contains an amorphous silicon germanium alloy. As an interim step, 4 ft{sup 2} multijunction modules have been fabricated in a pilot production mode over the last several months. The distribution of initial conversion efficiencies for an engineering run of 67 modules (4 ft{sup 2}) is shown. Measurements recently performed at NREL indicate that the actual efficiencies are about 5% higher than those shown, and thus exhibit an average initial conversion efficiency of about 9.5%. The data indicates that the process is relatively robust since there were no modules with initial efficiencies less than 7.5%.

  9. Detection of charged particles in amorphous silicon layers

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, S.N.; Morel, J.R.; Mulera, T.A.; Perez-Mendez, V.; Schnurmacher, G.; Street, R.A.

    1985-10-01

    The successful development of radiation detectors made from amorphous silicon could offer the possibility for relatively easy construction of large area position-sensitive detectors. We have conducted a series of measurements with prototype detectors, on signals derived from alpha particles. The measurement results are compared with simple model calculations, and projections are made of potential applications in high-energy and nuclear physics. 4 refs., 7 figs.

  10. Amorphous Ternary Diffusion Barriers for Silicon Metallizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Jason Sven

    1995-01-01

    Reactively sputtered from transition-metal silicide or boride targets in Ar/N_2 discharges, thin amorphous films of TM-Si-N (TM = Mo, Ta, Ti, or W) and W-B-N are investigated. Resistivity, density, stress, and structure are given as functions of composition, and in some cases, temperature. Transmission electron microscopy shows that most of the films are marginally amorphous with the scale of local order ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 nm. Small -angle scattering measurements reveal chemically dissimilary regions in the films. When fully nitrided, Si appears to be preferentially bonded to nitrogen in the form of Si_3N_4 in the TM-Si-N films, according to extended energy loss fine structure (EXELFS) measurements. By tests on shallow-junction diodes, 100-nm thick TM-Si-N barriers are able to prevent aluminum overlayers from spiking the Si substrate at temperatures above aluminum's melting point, 660^circC. The exceptional stability is partly attributable to a 3 nm, self-sealing AlN layer which grows at the TM-Si-N/Al interface. The performance of the TM-Si-N and W-B-N barriers with copper overlayers is equally impressive. At the proper compositions, 100-nm barriers prevent copper from diffusing into the junction at 800^circC or higher for a 30-min vacuum annealing. Diode failure typically corresponds to the crystallization temperature of the barrier, which can be reduced by the presence of copper. Preliminary diffusion measurements of Cu in Ta _{36}Si_ {14}N_{50} films by SIMS yield an approximate diffusivity constant of D_{CU} = (0.014 cm ^2/s) times exp(-2.7 eV/kT). A 10-nm-thick TM-Si-N barrier with a Cu overlayer on MOS capacitors reveals no penetration of Cu into SiO_2 during an 80 h bias-thermal-stress at 300^circ C and 1 MV/cm applied field. Through a microscopic four-point probe lithographically defined on a Cu/barrier/Cu trilayer stack, the specific contact resistances of barrier/Cu interfaces are determined for TM-Si-N, TiN, and W barriers. In all instances, the

  11. Hybrid photovoltaics based on semiconductor nanocrystals and amorphous silicon.

    PubMed

    Sun, Baoquan; Findikoglu, Alp T; Sykora, Milan; Werder, Donald J; Klimov, Victor I

    2009-03-01

    Semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) are promising materials for applications in photovoltaic (PV) structures that could benefit from size-controlled tunability of absorption spectra, the ease of realization of various tandem architectures, and, perhaps, increased conversion efficiency in the ultraviolet region through carrier multiplication. The first practical step toward utilization of the unique properties of NCs in PV technologies could be through their integration into traditional silicon-based solar cells. Here, we demonstrate an example of such hybrid PV structures that combine colloidal NCs with amorphous silicon. In these structures, NCs and silicon are electronically coupled, and the regime of this coupling can be tuned by altering the alignment of NC energy states with regard to silicon band edges. For example, using wide-gap CdSe NCs we demonstrate a photoresponse which is exclusively due to the NCs. On the other hand, in devices comprising narrow-gap PbS NCs, both the NCs and silicon contribute to photocurrent, which results in PV response extending from the visible to the near-infrared region. The hybrid silicon/PbS NC solar cells show external quantum efficiencies of approximately 7% at infrared energies and 50% in the visible and a power conversion efficiency of up to 0.9%. This work demonstrates the feasibility of hybrid PV devices that combine advantages of mature silicon fabrication technologies with the unique electronic properties of semiconductor NCs.

  12. Two-phase electrochemical lithiation in amorphous silicon.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiang Wei; He, Yu; Fan, Feifei; Liu, Xiao Hua; Xia, Shuman; Liu, Yang; Harris, C Thomas; Li, Hong; Huang, Jian Yu; Mao, Scott X; Zhu, Ting

    2013-02-13

    Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized portable electronics and will be a key to electrifying transport vehicles and delivering renewable electricity. Amorphous silicon (a-Si) is being intensively studied as a high-capacity anode material for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. Its lithiation has been widely thought to occur through a single-phase mechanism with gentle Li profiles, thus offering a significant potential for mitigating pulverization and capacity fade. Here, we discover a surprising two-phase process of electrochemical lithiation in a-Si by using in situ transmission electron microscopy. The lithiation occurs by the movement of a sharp phase boundary between the a-Si reactant and an amorphous Li(x)Si (a-Li(x)Si, x ~ 2.5) product. Such a striking amorphous-amorphous interface exists until the remaining a-Si is consumed. Then a second step of lithiation sets in without a visible interface, resulting in the final product of a-Li(x)Si (x ~ 3.75). We show that the two-phase lithiation can be the fundamental mechanism underpinning the anomalous morphological change of microfabricated a-Si electrodes, i.e., from a disk shape to a dome shape. Our results represent a significant step toward the understanding of the electrochemically driven reaction and degradation in amorphous materials, which is critical to the development of microstructurally stable electrodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

  13. Enhanced crystallization of amorphous silicon thin films using embedded silicon nanocrystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Curtis Michael

    This thesis is concerned with the production of silicon thin films for photovoltaic applications. Much research has been carried out to find a stable, more efficient alternative to amorphous silicon, resulting in a number of various amorphous/crystalline mixed-phase film structures with properties superior to amorphous silicon. This thesis work details a completely new approach to mixed-phase film deposition, focusing on the fast crystallization of these films. The deposition of amorphous silicon films with embedded nanocrystals was carried out via a dual-plasma system. It is known that plasma conditions to produce high quality films are much different from those to produce particles. Hence the experimental system used here involved two separate plasmas to allow the optimum production of the crystalline nanoparticles and the amorphous film. Both plasmas use 13.56 MHz excitation voltage with diluted silane as the silicon precursor. The nanoparticle production reactor is a flow-through device that can be altered to control the size of the particles from around 5--30 nm average diameter. The film production reactor is a parallel-plate capacitively-coupled plasma system, into which the aerosol-suspended nanoparticles were injected. The nanocrystals could either be "co-deposited" simultaneously with the amorphous film, or be deposited separately in a layer-by-layer technique; both approaches are discussed in detail. Measurements of the film conductivity provide for the first time unambiguous evidence that the presence of nanocrystallites above 5 nm in the amorphous film have a direct impact on the electronic properties of co-deposited films. Further measurements of the film structure by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Raman spectroscopy demonstrate clearly the effect of embedded nanocrystals on the annealed crystallization process; the immediate growth of the crystal seeds has been observed. Additionally, a newly discovered mechanism of film crystallization

  14. Flexible amorphous silicon PIN diode x-ray detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marrs, Michael; Bawolek, Edward; Smith, Joseph T.; Raupp, Gregory B.; Morton, David

    2013-05-01

    A low temperature amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film transistor (TFT) and amorphous silicon PIN photodiode technology for flexible passive pixel detector arrays has been developed using active matrix display technology. The flexible detector arrays can be conformed to non-planar surfaces with the potential to detect x-rays or other radiation with an appropriate conversion layer. The thin, lightweight, and robust backplanes may enable the use of highly portable x-ray detectors for use in the battlefield or in remote locations. We have fabricated detector arrays up to 200 millimeters along the diagonal on a Gen II (370 mm x 470 mm rectangular substrate) using plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) a-Si as the active layer and PECVD silicon nitride (SiN) as the gate dielectric and passivation. The a-Si based TFTs exhibited an effective saturation mobility of 0.7 cm2/V-s, which is adequate for most sensing applications. The PIN diode material was fabricated using a low stress amorphous silicon (a-Si) PECVD process. The PIN diode dark current was 1.7 pA/mm2, the diode ideality factor was 1.36, and the diode fill factor was 0.73. We report on the critical steps in the evolution of the backplane process from qualification of the low temperature (180°C) TFT and PIN diode process on the 150 mm pilot line, the transfer of the process to flexible plastic substrates, and finally a discussion and demonstration of the scale-up to the Gen II (370 x 470 mm) panel scale pilot line.

  15. Improved method of preparing p-i-n junctions in amorphous silicon semiconductors

    DOEpatents

    Madan, A.

    1984-12-10

    A method of preparing p/sup +/-i-n/sup +/ junctions for amorphous silicon semiconductors includes depositing amorphous silicon on a thin layer of trivalent material, such as aluminum, indium, or gallium at a temperature in the range of 200/sup 0/C to 250/sup 0/C. At this temperature, the layer of trivalent material diffuses into the amorphous silicon to form a graded p/sup +/-i junction. A layer of n-type doped material is then deposited onto the intrinsic amorphous silicon layer in a conventional manner to finish forming the p/sup +/-i-n/sup +/ junction.

  16. The U.S. and Japanese amorphous silicon technology programs A comparison

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shimada, K.

    1984-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy/Solar Energy Research Institute Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Solar Cell Program performs R&D on thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon for eventual development of stable amorphous silicon cells with 12 percent efficiency by 1988. The Amorphous Silicon Solar Cell Program in Japan is sponsored by the Sunshine Project to develop an alternate energy technology. While the objectives of both programs are to eventually develop a-Si photovoltaic modules and arrays that would produce electricity to compete with utility electricity cost, the U.S. program approach is research oriented and the Japanese is development oriented.

  17. Electron-beam-induced information storage in hydrogenated amorphous silicon devices

    DOEpatents

    Yacobi, B.G.

    1985-03-18

    A method for recording and storing information in a hydrogenated amorphous silicon device, comprising: depositing hydrogenated amorphous silicon on a substrate to form a charge collection device; and generating defects in the hydrogenated amorphous silicon device, wherein the defects act as recombination centers that reduce the lifetime of carriers, thereby reducing charge collection efficiency and thus in the charge collection mode of scanning probe instruments, regions of the hydrogenated amorphous silicon device that contain the defects appear darker in comparison to regions of the device that do not contain the defects, leading to a contrast formation for pattern recognition and information storage.

  18. Flowing damage in ion-implanted amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Pothier, Jean-Christophe; Schiettekatte, Francois; Lewis, Laurent J.

    2011-06-15

    Using molecular-dynamics simulations, we have studied the creation and evolution of damage in crystalline and amorphous silicon following the implantation of energetic keV ions. A method is proposed to identify anomalous atoms based on a weighted combination of local, atomic-scale properties, which applies to both Si phases. For crystalline Si, the passage of the ions causes compact amorphous regions to form, while no evidence for melting is observed. The relaxation of the amorphouslike regions proceeds initially by the rapid recrystallization of smaller clusters and isolated atoms, followed by a long period of steplike changes in the number of defects due to spontaneous annealing of damage pockets at the crystalline-amorphous interface. In amorphous Si, the initial stage of damage annealing (which lasts a few picoseconds) resembles closely that observed in crystalline Si; on larger time scales, however, the damage is found to ''percolate,'' or flow, through the system, inducing damage away from the collision cascade, thus causing an overall ''derelaxation'' of the material.

  19. Studies on Amorphizing Silicon Using Silicon Ion Implantation.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-04-01

    130-200 keV ions with doses of 5 x 1014 to 2 x 1015 2 15 2ions/cm and for 0.5 micron films, 260-300 keV ions at 1-2 x 10 ions/cm . Svensson et al...Vol. 42, pp. 707-709, 1983. 17. B. Svensson , J. Linnros & G. Holmen, "Ion Beam Induced Annealing of Radiation Damage in Silicon on Sapphire," Nucl...Mayer, Lennart Eriksson & John A. Davies, Ion Implantation in Semiconductors, Academic Press, NY, 1970. 21. L. T. Chadderton & F. H. Eisen, editors. Ion

  20. Impurity-defect complexes in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, L.H. ); Fong, C.Y. . Dept. of Physics); Nichols, C.S. . Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering)

    1990-11-01

    The two most outstanding features observed for dopants in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) -- a shift in the Fermi level accompanied by an increase in the defect density and an absence of degenerate doping -- have previously been postulated to stem from the formation of substitutional dopant-dangling bond complexes. Using first-principles self-consistent pseudopotential calculation in conjunction with a supercell model for the amorphous network and the ability of network relaxation from the first-principles results, we have studied the electronic and structural properties of substitutional fourfold-coordinated phosphorus and boron at the second neighbor position to a dangling bond defect. We demonstrate that such impurity-defect complexes can account for the general features observed experimentally in doped a-Si:H. 16 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  1. FTIR study of silicon carbide amorphization by heavy ion irradiations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costantini, Jean-Marc; Miro, Sandrine; Pluchery, Olivier

    2017-03-01

    We have measured at room temperature (RT) the Fourier-transform infra-red (FTIR) absorption spectra of ion-irradiated thin epitaxial films of cubic silicon carbide (3C–SiC) with 1.1 µm thickness on a 500 µm thick (1 0 0) silicon wafer substrate. Irradiations were carried out at RT with 2.3 MeV 28Si+ ions and 3.0 MeV 84Kr+ ions for various fluences in order to induce amorphization of the SiC film. Ion projected ranges were adjusted to be slightly larger than the film thickness so that the whole SiC layers were homogeneously damaged. FTIR spectra of virgin and irradiated samples were recorded for various incidence angles from normal incidence to Brewster’s angle. We show that the amorphization process in ion-irradiated 3C–SiC films can be monitored non-destructively by FTIR absorption spectroscopy without any major interference of the substrate. The compared evolutions of TO and LO peaks upon ion irradiation yield valuable information on the damage process. Complementary test experiments were also performed on virgin silicon nitride (Si3N4) self-standing films for similar conditions. Asymmetrical shapes were found for TO peaks of SiC, whereas Gaussian profiles are found for LO peaks. Skewed Gaussian profiles, with a standard deviation depending on wave number, were used to fit asymmetrical peaks for both materials. A new methodology for following the amorphization process is proposed on the basis of the evolution of fitted IR absorption peak parameters with ion fluence. Results are discussed with respect to Rutherford backscattering spectrometry channeling and Raman spectroscopy analysis.

  2. Enhanced electrochemical etching of ion irradiated silicon by localized amorphization

    SciTech Connect

    Dang, Z. Y.; Breese, M. B. H.; Lin, Y.; Tok, E. S.; Vittone, E.

    2014-05-12

    A tailored distribution of ion induced defects in p-type silicon allows subsequent electrochemical anodization to be modified in various ways. Here we describe how a low level of lattice amorphization induced by ion irradiation influences anodization. First, it superposes a chemical etching effect, which is observable at high fluences as a reduced height of a micromachined component. Second, at lower fluences, it greatly enhances electrochemical anodization by allowing a hole diffusion current to flow to the exposed surface. We present an anodization model, which explains all observed effects produced by light ions such as helium and heavy ions such as cesium over a wide range of fluences and irradiation geometries.

  3. A 4096 atom model of amorphous silicon: Structure and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, Joseph L.; Bickham, Scott R.; Davidson, Brian N.; Wooten, Frederick

    1997-03-01

    We present structural and lattice dynamical information for a 4096 atom model of amorphous silicon. The structural model was obtained, similarly to previously published smaller models, using periodic boundary conditions, the Wooten-Winer-Weaire bond-switching algorithm, and the Broughton-Li relaxation with respect to the Stillinger-Weber potential. The structure is dynamically stable and there is no evidence in the radial distribution function of medium range order. For examining this large model, we use a 1000 processor Connection Machine to compute all the eigenvalues and eigenvectors exactly. The phonon density of states and inverse participation ratio are compared with results for related 216, 432 and 1000-atom models.

  4. Molecular-dynamics simulation of thermal conductivity in amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Young Hee; Biswas, R.; Soukoulis, C. M.; Wang, C. Z.; Chan, C. T.; Ho, K. M.

    1991-03-01

    The temperature-dependent thermal conductivity κ(T) of amorphous silicon has been calculated from equilibrium molecular-dynamics simulations using the time correlations of the heat flux operator in which anharmonicity is explicitly incorporated. The Stillinger-Weber two- and three-body Si potential and the Wooten-Weaire-Winer a-Si model were utilized. The calculations correctly predict an increasing thermal conductivity at low temperatures (below 400 K). The κ(T), for T>400 K, is affected by the thermally generated coordination-defect states. Comparisons to both experiment and previous calculations will be described.

  5. Progress in amorphous silicon PV technology: An update

    SciTech Connect

    Luft, W; Branz, H M; Dalal, V L; Hegedus, S S; Schiff, E A

    1995-07-01

    To reach the 15% stabilized efficiency goal for amorphous silicon (a-Si) modules by the year 2005, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has established four research teams. The teams -- with members from industry, universities, and NREL -- have been in operation for 2.5 years now. Consensus has been reached that a triple-junction a-Si structure is needed to reach the efficiency goal. Performance parameter goals for the overall structure and the three component cells have been formulated. All four teams have generated their own development plans. Individual team progress relative to the plans is reported.

  6. Structural properties of amorphous silicon produced by electron irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Yamasaki, J.; Takeda, S.

    1999-07-01

    The structural properties of the amorphous Si (a-Si), which was created from crystalline silicon by 2 MeV electron irradiation at low temperatures about 25 K, are examined in detail by means of transmission electron microscopy and transmission electron diffraction. The peak positions in the radial distribution function (RDF) of the a-Si correspond well to those of a-Si fabricated by other techniques. The electron-irradiation-induced a-Si returns to crystalline Si after annealing at 550 C.

  7. Ultralight amorphous silicon alloy photovoltaic modules for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanak, J. J.; Chen, Englade; Fulton, C.; Myatt, A.; Woodyard, J. R.

    1987-01-01

    Ultralight and ultrathin, flexible, rollup monolithic PV modules have been developed consisting of multijunction, amorphous silicon alloys for either terrestrial or aerospace applications. The rate of progress in increasing conversion efficiency of stable multijunction and multigap PV cells indicates that arrays of these modules can be available for NASA's high power systems in the 1990's. Because of the extremely light module weight and the highly automated process of manufacture, the monolithic a-Si alloy arrays are expected to be strongly competitive with other systems for use in NASA's space station or in other large aerospace applications.

  8. Thermopower and conductivity activation energies in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Dyalsingh, H.M.; Kakalios, J.

    1996-12-31

    The long range fluctuation model has been widely used to account for the difference in activation energies seen experimentally in dark conductivity and thermopower measurements in hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The authors report on a test of this model using measurements of the conductivity and thermoelectric effects carried out in both open and short circuit configurations. While the thermopower activation energy is less than that of the dark conductivity, the short circuit Seebeck conductivity is found to be nearly identical to the dark conductivity in both activation energy and magnitude, consistent with the long range fluctuation model.

  9. Comment on ``Electron drift mobility in doped amorphous silicon''

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overhof, H.; Silver, M.

    1989-05-01

    Experimental drift-mobility data obtained by different methods in doped amorphous silicon are compared. It is shown that the presence of a long-range random potential will lead to a modification of the drift mobility in one experiment while the corresponding values in other experiments are virtually unaffected. It is shown that this effect accounts for the apparent discrepancy between the results of these experiments rather than the shift of the mobility edge upon doping which was recently proposed by Street, Kakalios, and Hack [Phys. Rev. B 38, 5603 (1988)] in order to understand their data.

  10. Realistic modeling of the electronic properties of doped amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Hack, M.; Street, R.A.

    1988-09-19

    In this letter we describe a fundamental approach to calculating the electronic properties of doped amorphous silicon which takes into account the thermal history of the material. Above the equilibrium temperature, the material is in a thermodynamically stable state, and this is derived by minimizing the free energy using a simple density of states model. The calculations are based on the defect compensation model of doping, introducing distributions of formation energies for neutral dangling bonds and fourfold dopant atoms while preserving charge neutrality. Our results are in good agreement with experimental data providing a realistic model for use in device simulation programs.

  11. Determining the Onset of Amorphization of Crystalline Silicon due to Hypervelocity Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poletti, C. Shane; Bachlechner, Martina E.

    2009-03-01

    Atomistic simulations were performed to study a hypervelocity impactor striking a silicon/silicon nitride interface with varying silicon substrate thicknesses. Visualization indicates that the crystalline silicon amorphizes upon impact. The objective of the present study is to determine where the boundary between amorphous and crystalline silicon occurrs. In the analysis, the silicon substrate is separated into sixty layers and for each layer the average z displacement is determined. Our results show that the boundary between amorphous and crystalline silicon occurs between layers 20 and 22 for an impactor traveling at 5 km/s. This corresponds to a depth of approximately 32 Angstroms into the silicon. More detailed analyses reveals that the z displacement is noticeably larger for the layers that do not have a silicon atom bonded beneath them compared to the ones that do.

  12. A magnesium/amorphous silicon passivating contact for n-type crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, Yimao; Samundsett, Chris; Yan, Di; Allen, Thomas; Peng, Jun; Cui, Jie; Zhang, Xinyu; Bullock, James; Cuevas, Andres

    2016-09-01

    Among the metals, magnesium has one of the lowest work functions, with a value of 3.7 eV. This makes it very suitable to form an electron-conductive cathode contact for silicon solar cells. We present here the experimental demonstration of an amorphous silicon/magnesium/aluminium (a-Si:H/Mg/Al) passivating contact for silicon solar cells. The conduction properties of a thermally evaporated Mg/Al contact structure on n-type crystalline silicon (c-Si) are investigated, achieving a low resistivity Ohmic contact to moderately doped n-type c-Si (˜5 × 1015 cm-3) of ˜0.31 Ω cm2 and ˜0.22 Ω cm2 for samples with and without an amorphous silicon passivating interlayer, respectively. Application of the passivating cathode to the whole rear surface of n-type front junction c-Si solar cells leads to a power conversion efficiency of 19% in a proof-of-concept device. The low thermal budget of the cathode formation, its dopant-less nature, and the simplicity of the device structure enabled by the Mg/Al contact open up possibilities in designing and fabricating low-cost silicon solar cells.

  13. Electrical characteristics of amorphous molybdenum-nickel contacts to silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kung, K. T.-Y.; Nicolet, M.-A.; Suni, I.

    1984-01-01

    The electrical characteristics of sputtered, amorphous Mo-Ni contacts have been measured on both p- and n-type Si, as functions of composition (30, 54, and 58 at. percent Mo). The contact resistivity on both p(+) and n(+) Si is in the 0.00000 ohm sq cm range. The barrier height for as-deposited samples varies between phi-bp = 0.47-0.42 V on p-type Si and between phi-bn = 0.63-0.68 V on n-type Si, as the composition of the amorphous layer goes from Ni-rich to Mo-rich. The sum phi-bp + phi-bn always equals 1.12 V, within experimental error. After thermal treatment at 500 C for 1/2 h, the contact resistivity changes by a factor of two or less, while the barrier height changes by at most approximately 0.05 V. In light of these results, the amorphous Mo-Ni film makes good ohmic contacts to silicon.

  14. Sputtered pin amorphous silicon semi-conductor device and method therefor

    DOEpatents

    Moustakas, Theodore D.; Friedman, Robert A.

    1983-11-22

    A high efficiency amorphous silicon PIN semi-conductor device is constructed by the sequential sputtering of N, I and P layers of amorphous silicon and at least one semi-transparent ohmic electrode. A method of construction produces a PIN device, exhibiting enhanced physical integrity and facilitates ease of construction in a singular vacuum system and vacuum pump down procedure.

  15. High Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Films and Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    He, Rongrui; Day, Todd D; Sparks, Justin R; Sullivan, Nichole F; Badding, John V

    2016-07-01

    Thin films of hydrogenated amorphous silicon can be produced at MPa pressures from silane without the use of plasma at temperatures as low as 345 °C. High pressure chemical vapor deposition may open a new way to low cost deposition of amorphous silicon solar cells and other thin film structures over very large areas in very compact, simple reactors.

  16. Electron-beam-induced information storage in hydrogenated amorphous silicon device

    DOEpatents

    Yacobi, Ben G.

    1986-01-01

    A method for recording and storing information in a hydrogenated amorphous silicon device, comprising: depositing hydrogenated amorphous silicon on a substrate to form a charge-collection device; and generating defects in the hydrogenated amorphous silicon device, wherein the defects act as recombination centers that reduce the lifetime of carriers, thereby reducing charge-collection efficiency; and thus in the charge-collection mode of scanning probe instruments, regions of the hydrogenated amorphous silicon device that contain the defects appear darker in comparison to regions of the device that do not contain the defects, leading to a contrast formation for pattern recognition and information storage, in the device, which darkened areas can be restored to their original charge-collection efficiency by heating the hydrogenated amorphous silicon to a temperature of about 100.degree. C. to 250.degree. C. for a sufficient period of time to provide for such restoration.

  17. Highly featured amorphous silicon nanorod arrays for high-performance lithium-ion batteries

    SciTech Connect

    Soleimani-Amiri, Samaneh; Safiabadi Tali, Seied Ali; Azimi, Soheil; Sanaee, Zeinab; Mohajerzadeh, Shamsoddin

    2014-11-10

    High aspect-ratio vertical structures of amorphous silicon have been realized using hydrogen-assisted low-density plasma reactive ion etching. Amorphous silicon layers with the thicknesses ranging from 0.5 to 10 μm were deposited using radio frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique. Standard photolithography and nanosphere colloidal lithography were employed to realize ultra-small features of the amorphous silicon. The performance of the patterned amorphous silicon structures as a lithium-ion battery electrode was investigated using galvanostatic charge-discharge tests. The patterned structures showed a superior Li-ion battery performance compared to planar amorphous silicon. Such structures are suitable for high current Li-ion battery applications such as electric vehicles.

  18. NMR structural studies of PECVD amorphous silicon films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cull, Thomas Sidley, Jr.

    The properties of plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) amorphous semiconductor films vary depending upon preparation conditions and doping. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon films (a-Si:H) have some properties that make these films desirable for use in solar cells and photoreceptor devices. Maximizing electronic and structural properties of such films is key to their success. Nuclear magnetic resonance, and in particular deuterium magnetic resonance (DMR) for a-Si:H,D films, is a useful means to study the morphology of such samples. The location and motions of hydrogen and the chemically equivalent deuterium within an amorphous semiconductor film can be observed with NMR. The information from the NMR studies can be correlated with electronic properties studies to determine whether a given sample would make a successful photovoltaic device. This thesis focuses on three aspects of study: comparison of two samples that differ in the bias applied to the substrate upon which the amorphous films were grown; derivation of relaxation parameters for covalently bonded deuterium; development of a new pulse sequence "incremental spin echo double resonance (SEDOR)" to study the number of unlike spins that contribute to the local field of a given nuclei. Four significant conclusions can be drawn. First, the electronic quality as measured by the photoresponse product etamutau correlates with the broad Gaussian DMR spectral feature which arises from molecular hydrogen in sites that restrict motion. Second, the relaxation of nuclear magnetization under extreme inhomogeneous broadening can be modeled very well as the relaxation without spin diffusion to faster relaxing species within a sample. Third, incremental SEDOR has either a quantum mechanical or classical behavior depending upon the length of the pulse spacing in comparison to the spin-spin relaxation time. Fourth, the local field at the hydrogen of an HD pair within an a-Si:H,D sample is determined on average by

  19. Layered amorphous silicon as negative electrodes in lithium-ion batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Leyi; Dvorak, D. J.; Obrovac, M. N.

    2016-11-01

    Chemical delithiation is used to prepare bulk quantities of amorphous silicon powder from lithium-silicon compounds. The amorphous silicon materials formed are air and water stable and are found to have layered structures. When cycled in Li-ion half cells, coatings containing layered amorphous silicon are found to have significantly lower volume expansion during lithiation and improved cycling characteristics compared to that of bulk crystalline Si. We suggest chemical delithiation as a convenient method to synthesize bulk quantities of Si powders containing self-organized void spaces that can accommodate volume expansion during lithiation.

  20. Synthesis and Characterization of Luminescent Amorphous Porous Silicon (ap-Si) Nanoparticles via unconventional Stain Etching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchalala, M. R.; El-Demellawi, J. K.; Mughal, A. J.; Chaieb, S.

    2016-10-01

    Starting from crystalline silicon we synthesised bright suspensions of amorphous porous silicon nanoparticles through unconventional stain etching. Upon excitation with UV light, this novel nanostructured material gives rise to an intense red photoluminescence (PL) which resembles that of some silicon nanostructures. We studied the properties of the prepared nanoparticles using a number of cutting-edge characterization techniques such as TEM, SEM and EDX. The complete crystalline-to-amorphous phase transition, confirmed by the morphological studies, seems fortuitous.

  1. Approximate ab initio calculations of electronic structure of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durandurdu, M.; Drabold, D. A.; Mousseau, N.

    2000-12-01

    We report on ab initio calculations of electronic states of two large and realistic models of amorphous silicon generated using a modified version of the Wooten-Winer-Weaire algorithm and relaxed, in both cases, with a Keating and a modified Stillinger-Weber potentials. The models have no coordination defects and a very narrow bond-angle distribution. We compute the electronic density-of-states and pay particular attention to the nature of the band-tail states around the electronic gap. All models show a large and perfectly clean optical gap and realistic Urbach tails. Based on these results and the extended quasi-one-dimensional stringlike structures observed for certain eigenvalues in the band tails, we postulate that the generation of model a-Si without localized states might be achievable under certain circumstances.

  2. Model investigation of the Raman spectra of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marinov, M.; Zotov, N.

    1997-02-01

    A model for calculating the first-order Raman spectra of amorphous silicon (a-Si) without adjustable parameters is proposed. Calculations on the original 216-atom model of a-Si, generated by the algorithm of Wooten, Winer, and Weaire (WWW) are in very good agreement with experimental spectra and give further indication that the WWW cluster is a realistic model of moderately disordered a-Si. The TA-TO assignment of the low and high frequency bands is supported by direct numerical calculations of the phase quotient and the stretching character of the vibrational modes. The calculated participation ratios and correlation lengths of the vibrational modes indicate that the high-frequency TO-like modes are strongly localized on defects. The relative intensities of the TA-, LA-, and LO-like bands depend on the intermediate-range order, while that of the TO-like band mainly on the short-range order.

  3. Radiation Resistance Studies of Amorphous Silicon Alloy Photovoltaic Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodyard, James R.

    1994-01-01

    The radiation resistance of commercial solar cells fabricated from hydrogenated amorphous silicon alloys was investigated. A number of different device structures were irradiated with 1.0 MeV protons. The cells were insensitive to proton fluences below 1E12 sq cm. The parameters of the irradiated cells were restored with annealing at 200 C. The annealing time was dependent on proton fluence. Annealing devices for one hour restores cell parameters for fluences below lE14 sq cm require longer annealing times. A parametric fitting model was used to characterize current mechanisms observed in dark I-V measurements. The current mechanisms were explored with irradiation fluence, and voltage and light soaking times. The thermal generation current density and quality factor increased with proton fluence. Device simulation shows the degradation in cell characteristics may be explained by the reduction of the electric field in the intrinsic layer.

  4. Mobility-lifetime products in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Crandall, R.S. ); Balberg, I. )

    1991-02-04

    The most important parameters characterizing the photoelectronic quality of a semiconductor are its charge-carrier mobility lifetime, {mu}{tau}, products. The two common experimental methods used to determine these parameters in hydrogenated amorphous silicon, {ital a}-Si:H, are the steady-state photoconductivity measurement and the life-of-flight charge-collection measurement. The two methods yield quite different results. We show that the difference can be resolved by an understanding of the physics involved in each of the measurements. We show that the steady-state {mu}{tau} is expected to be up to three orders of magnitude larger than the time-of-flight {mu}{tau} in undoped {ital a}-Si:H. This prediction is in excellent agreement with the corresponding experimental results.

  5. High Performance Molybdenum Disulfide Amorphous Silicon Heterojunction Photodetector

    PubMed Central

    Esmaeili-Rad, Mohammad R.; Salahuddin, Sayeef

    2013-01-01

    One important use of layered semiconductors such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) could be in making novel heterojunction devices leading to functionalities unachievable using conventional semiconductors. Here we demonstrate a metal-semiconductor-metal heterojunction photodetector, made of MoS2 and amorphous silicon (a-Si), with rise and fall times of about 0.3 ms. The transient response does not show persistent (residual) photoconductivity, unlike conventional a-Si devices where it may last 3–5 ms, thus making this heterojunction roughly 10X faster. A photoresponsivity of 210 mA/W is measured at green light, the wavelength used in commercial imaging systems, which is 2−4X larger than that of a-Si and best reported MoS2 devices. The device could find applications in large area electronics, such as biomedical imaging, where a fast response is critical. PMID:23907598

  6. Research on stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon multijunction modules

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S. )

    1992-09-01

    This report describes research on semiconductor and non-semiconductor materials to enhance the performance of multi-band-gap, multijunction panel with an area greater than 900 cm[sup 2] by 1992. Double-junction and triple-junction cells are mode on a Ag/ZnO back reflector deposited on stainless steel substrates. An a-SiGe alloy is used for the i-layer in the bottom and the middle cells; the top cell uses an amorphous silicon alloy. After the evaporation of an antireflection coating, silver grids and bus bars are put on the top surface and the panel is encapsulated in an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)/Tefzel structure to make a 1-ft[sup 2] monolithic module.

  7. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon photonic device trimming by UV-irradiation.

    PubMed

    Lipka, Timo; Kiepsch, Melanie; Trieu, Hoc Khiem; Müller, Jörg

    2014-05-19

    A method to compensate for fabrication tolerances and to fine-tune individual photonic circuit components is inevitable for wafer-scale photonic systems even with most-advanced CMOS-fabrication tools. We report a cost-effective and highly accurate method for the permanent trimming of hydrogenated amorphous silicon photonic devices by UV-irradiation. Microring resonators and Mach-Zehnder-interferometers were utilized as photonic test devices. The MZIs were tuned forth and back over their complete free spectral range of 5.5 nm by locally trimming the two MZI-arms. The trimming range exceeds 8 nm for compact ring resonators with trimming accuracies of 20 pm. Trimming speeds of ≥ 10 GHz/s were achieved. The components did not show any substantial device degradation.

  8. Photoluminescence in erbium doped amorphous silicon oxycarbide thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallis, Spyros; Huang, Mengbing; Efstathiadis, Harry; Eisenbraun, Eric; Kaloyeros, Alain E.; Nyein, Ei Ei; Hommerich, Uwe

    2005-08-01

    Photoluminescence (PL) in Er-doped amorphous silicon oxycarbide (a-SiCxOy:Er) thin films, synthesized via thermal chemical vapor deposition, was investigated for carbon and oxygen concentrations in the range of 0-1.63. Intense room-temperature PL was observed at 1540 nm, with the PL intensity being dependent on the carbon and oxygen content. The strongest PL intensity was detected for a-SiC0.53O0.99:Er when pumped at 496.5 nm, with ˜20 times intensity enhancement as compared to a-SiO2:Er. Broadband excitation in the visible was observed for a-SiC0.53O0.99:Er. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses suggest that the formation of Si-C-O networks plays an important role in enhancing the Er optical activity in a-SiCxOy:Er films.

  9. Light-induced metastability in pure and hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Queen, D. R.; Liu, X.; Karel, J.; Wang, Q.; Crandall, R. S.; Metcalf, T. H.; Hellman, F.

    2015-10-01

    Light soaking is found to increase the specific heat C and internal friction Q-1 of pure (a-Si) and hydrogenated (a-Si:H) amorphous silicon. At the lowest temperatures, the increases in C and Q-1 are consistent with an increased density of two-level systems (TLS). The light-induced increase in C persists to room temperature. Neither the sound velocity nor shear modulus change with light soaking indicating that the Debye specific heat is unchanged which suggests that light soaking creates localized vibrational modes in addition to TLS. The increase can be reversibly added and removed by light soaking and annealing, respectively, suggesting that it is related to the Staebler-Wronski effect (SWE), even in a-Si without H, and involves a reversible nanoscale structural rearrangement that is facilitated by, but does not require, H to occur.

  10. Monolithic amorphous silicon modules on continuous polymer substrate

    SciTech Connect

    Grimmer, D.P. )

    1992-03-01

    This report examines manufacturing monolithic amorphous silicon modules on a continuous polymer substrate. Module production costs can be reduced by increasing module performance, expanding production, and improving and modifying production processes. Material costs can be reduced by developing processes that use a 1-mil polyimide substrate and multilayers of low-cost material for the front encapsulant. Research to speed up a-Si and ZnO deposition rates is needed to improve throughputs. To keep throughput rates compatible with depositions, multibeam fiber optic delivery systems for laser scribing can be used. However, mechanical scribing systems promise even higher throughputs. Tandem cells and production experience can increase device efficiency and stability. Two alternative manufacturing processes are described: (1) wet etching and sheet handling and (2) wet etching and roll-to-roll fabrication.

  11. Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon (a-Si:H) Colloids

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, Justin T.; Hueso, Jose L.; Korgel, Brian A.

    2010-12-14

    Colloidal particles of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) were synthesized by decomposition of trisilane (Si{sub 3}H{sub 8}) in supercritical n-hexane (sc-hexane) at temperatures ranging from 380 to 550 °C. The reaction temperature, pressure and Si{sub 3}H{sub 8} concentration have a significant influence on the average particle size, Si bond order and hydrogen content. The particle diameter could be varied from 170 nm to 1.7 μm, with hydrogen loadings between 10% and 58%. Raman spectroscopy of the particles revealed significant differences in Si bond order that correlated with hydrogen content, with the lowest reaction temperatures yielding particles with the least structural order and most associated hydrogen. Particles synthesized at temperatures higher than 420 °C had sufficient bond order to allow crystallization under the Raman laser probe.

  12. Optical bandgap of ultra-thin amorphous silicon films deposited on crystalline silicon by PECVD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdulraheem, Yaser; Gordon, Ivan; Bearda, Twan; Meddeb, Hosny; Poortmans, Jozef

    2014-05-01

    An optical study based on spectroscopic ellipsometry, performed on ultrathin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layers, is presented in this work. Ultrathin layers of intrinsic amorphous silicon have been deposited on n-type mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafers by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The layer thicknesses along with their optical properties -including their refractive index and optical loss- were characterized by spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) in a wavelength range from 250 nm to 850 nm. The data was fitted to a Tauc-Lorentz optical model and the fitting parameters were extracted and used to compute the refractive index, extinction coefficient and optical bandgap. Furthermore, the a-Si:H film grown on silicon was etched at a controlled rate using a TMAH solution prepared at room temperature. The optical properties along with the Tauc-Lorentz fitting parameters were extracted from the model as the film thickness was reduced. The etch rate for ultrathin a-Si:H layers in TMAH at room temperature was found to slow down drastically as the c-Si interface is approached. From the Tauc-Lorentz parameters obtained from SE, it was found that the a-Si film exhibited properties that evolved with thickness suggesting that the deposited film is non-homogeneous across its depth. It was also found that the degree of crystallinity and optical (Tauc) bandgap increased as the layers were reduced in thickness and coming closer to the c-Si substrate interface, suggesting the presence of nano-structured clusters mixed into the amorphous phase for the region close to the crystalline silicon substrate. Further results from Atomic Force Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy confirmed the presence of an interfacial transitional layer between the amorphous film and the underlying substrate showing silicon nano-crystalline enclosures that can lead to quantum confinement effects. Quantum confinement is suggested to be the cause of the observed

  13. Optical bandgap of ultra-thin amorphous silicon films deposited on crystalline silicon by PECVD

    SciTech Connect

    Abdulraheem, Yaser; Gordon, Ivan; Bearda, Twan; Meddeb, Hosny; Poortmans, Jozef

    2014-05-15

    An optical study based on spectroscopic ellipsometry, performed on ultrathin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layers, is presented in this work. Ultrathin layers of intrinsic amorphous silicon have been deposited on n-type mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafers by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The layer thicknesses along with their optical properties –including their refractive index and optical loss- were characterized by spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) in a wavelength range from 250 nm to 850 nm. The data was fitted to a Tauc-Lorentz optical model and the fitting parameters were extracted and used to compute the refractive index, extinction coefficient and optical bandgap. Furthermore, the a-Si:H film grown on silicon was etched at a controlled rate using a TMAH solution prepared at room temperature. The optical properties along with the Tauc-Lorentz fitting parameters were extracted from the model as the film thickness was reduced. The etch rate for ultrathin a-Si:H layers in TMAH at room temperature was found to slow down drastically as the c-Si interface is approached. From the Tauc-Lorentz parameters obtained from SE, it was found that the a-Si film exhibited properties that evolved with thickness suggesting that the deposited film is non-homogeneous across its depth. It was also found that the degree of crystallinity and optical (Tauc) bandgap increased as the layers were reduced in thickness and coming closer to the c-Si substrate interface, suggesting the presence of nano-structured clusters mixed into the amorphous phase for the region close to the crystalline silicon substrate. Further results from Atomic Force Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy confirmed the presence of an interfacial transitional layer between the amorphous film and the underlying substrate showing silicon nano-crystalline enclosures that can lead to quantum confinement effects. Quantum confinement is suggested to be the cause of the observed

  14. Laser induced crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon-carbon alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summonte, C.; Rizzoli, R.; Servidori, M.; Milita, S.; Nicoletti, S.; Bianconi, M.; Desalvo, A.; Iencinella, D.

    2004-10-01

    Laser induced crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbon alloy (a-Si1-xCx:H) films has been investigated by means of synchrotron x-ray diffraction. The a-Si1-xCx:H films were deposited on (100) silicon wafers by very high frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition at 100MHz in hydrogen diluted silane-methane gas mixtures. The substrate was kept at 250°C or 350°C and the stoichiometry was changed from x =0.20 to 0.63. The structural characterization of the as-grown films has been carried out by Rutherford backscattering (hydrogen concentration) and infrared spectroscopy (film ordering). The films were irradiated by a KrF excimer laser (248nm ) with varying energy density and number of pulses. After irradiation, the formation of SiC crystallites has been revealed by synchrotron x-ray diffraction. Besides SiC nanocrystals, the formation of crystalline Si and graphite is observed for under- (x <0.50) and over-stoichiometric (x>0.50) samples, respectively. The essential role played by hydrogen concentration and hydrogen bonding configuration in determining the melting threshold and the consequent SiC grain formation is highlighted.

  15. Time evolution of charged defect states in tritiated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costea, Stefan; Kherani, Nazir P.; Zukotynski, Stefan

    2007-11-01

    Tritiated hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H:T) thin films were deposited on crystalline silicon and high resistivity glass substrates. The time evolution of the density of defect states in these films was studied using the constant photocurrent method (CPM) and isothermal capacitance transient spectroscopy (ICTS). The density of defect states was found to change with time and to recover upon thermal annealing. The ICTS results revealed that, following thermal annealing, in a sample with approximately 1at.% tritium, the concentration of positively charged dangling bonds (D+) decreased by more than an order of magnitude over a period of 300h. The CPM results showed that, over the same period of time, the concentration of negatively charged dangling bonds (D-) increased by over two orders of magnitude. The D+ and D- concentrations followed exponential functions of time, but the rate was different than that of tritium decay. At the same time, the Urbach energy was found to decrease with time to about 1/2 of its postanneal value. The change in the D+ and D- concentrations is primarily the result of capture of the beta particle generated electrons in dangling bonds and weak bonds, with steady state achieved through the development of a balance between carrier generation and carrier capture processes. The role of excess carriers was confirmed by CPM experiments under electrical bias.

  16. Crystallization and doping of amorphous silicon on low temperature plastic

    DOEpatents

    Kaschmitter, James L.; Truher, Joel B.; Weiner, Kurt H.; Sigmon, Thomas W.

    1994-01-01

    A method or process of crystallizing and doping amorphous silicon (a-Si) on a low-temperature plastic substrate using a short pulsed high energy source in a selected environment, without heat propagation and build-up in the substrate. The pulsed energy processing of the a-Si in a selected environment, such as BF3 and PF5, will form a doped micro-crystalline or poly-crystalline silicon (pc-Si) region or junction point with improved mobilities, lifetimes and drift and diffusion lengths and with reduced resistivity. The advantage of this method or process is that it provides for high energy materials processing on low cost, low temperature, transparent plastic substrates. Using pulsed laser processing a high (>900.degree. C.), localized processing temperature can be achieved in thin films, with little accompanying temperature rise in the substrate, since substrate temperatures do not exceed 180.degree. C. for more than a few microseconds. This method enables use of plastics incapable of withstanding sustained processing temperatures (higher than 180.degree. C.) but which are much lower cost, have high tolerance to ultraviolet light, have high strength and good transparency, compared to higher temperature plastics such as polyimide.

  17. Crystallization and doping of amorphous silicon on low temperature plastic

    DOEpatents

    Kaschmitter, J.L.; Truher, J.B.; Weiner, K.H.; Sigmon, T.W.

    1994-09-13

    A method or process of crystallizing and doping amorphous silicon (a-Si) on a low-temperature plastic substrate using a short pulsed high energy source in a selected environment, without heat propagation and build-up in the substrate is disclosed. The pulsed energy processing of the a-Si in a selected environment, such as BF3 and PF5, will form a doped micro-crystalline or poly-crystalline silicon (pc-Si) region or junction point with improved mobilities, lifetimes and drift and diffusion lengths and with reduced resistivity. The advantage of this method or process is that it provides for high energy materials processing on low cost, low temperature, transparent plastic substrates. Using pulsed laser processing a high (>900 C), localized processing temperature can be achieved in thin films, with little accompanying temperature rise in the substrate, since substrate temperatures do not exceed 180 C for more than a few microseconds. This method enables use of plastics incapable of withstanding sustained processing temperatures (higher than 180 C) but which are much lower cost, have high tolerance to ultraviolet light, have high strength and good transparency, compared to higher temperature plastics such as polyimide. 5 figs.

  18. Interplay of amorphous silicon disorder and hydrogen content with interface defects in amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze, T. F.; Beushausen, H. N.; Leendertz, C.; Dobrich, A.; Rech, B.; Korte, L.

    2010-06-01

    We analyze the dependence of the interface defect density Dit in amorphous/crystalline silicon (a-Si:H/c-Si) heterojunctions on the microscopic properties of ultrathin (10 nm) undoped a-Si:H passivation layers. It is shown that the hydrogen bonding and network disorder, probed by infrared- and photoelectron spectroscopy, govern the initial Dit and its behavior upon a short thermal treatment at 200 °C. While the initial Dit is determined by the local and nonequilibrated interface structure, the annealed Dit is defined by the bulk a-Si:H network strain. Thus it appears that the equilibrated a-Si:H/c-Si interface does not possess unique electronic properties but is governed by the a-Si:H bulk defects.

  19. Specific energy yield comparison between crystalline silicon and amorphous silicon based PV modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferenczi, Toby; Stern, Omar; Hartung, Marianne; Mueggenburg, Eike; Lynass, Mark; Bernal, Eva; Mayer, Oliver; Zettl, Marcus

    2009-08-01

    As emerging thin-film PV technologies continue to penetrate the market and the number of utility scale installations substantially increase, detailed understanding of the performance of the various PV technologies becomes more important. An accurate database for each technology is essential for precise project planning, energy yield prediction and project financing. However recent publications showed that it is very difficult to get accurate and reliable performance data of theses technologies. This paper evaluates previously reported claims the amorphous silicon based PV modules have a higher annual energy yield compared to crystalline silicon modules relative to their rated performance. In order to acquire a detailed understanding of this effect, outdoor module tests were performed at GE Global Research Center in Munich. In this study we examine closely two of the five reported factors that contribute to enhanced energy yield of amorphous silicon modules. We find evidence to support each of these factors and evaluate their relative significance. We discuss aspects for improvement in how PV modules are sold and identify areas for further study further study.

  20. Schottky barrier amorphous silicon solar cell with thin doped region adjacent metal Schottky barrier

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.; Wronski, Christopher R.

    1979-01-01

    A Schottky barrier amorphous silicon solar cell incorporating a thin highly doped p-type region of hydrogenated amorphous silicon disposed between a Schottky barrier high work function metal and the intrinsic region of hydrogenated amorphous silicon wherein said high work function metal and said thin highly doped p-type region forms a surface barrier junction with the intrinsic amorphous silicon layer. The thickness and concentration of p-type dopants in said p-type region are selected so that said p-type region is fully ionized by the Schottky barrier high work function metal. The thin highly doped p-type region has been found to increase the open circuit voltage and current of the photovoltaic device.

  1. Energy level of the nitrogen dangling bond in amorphous silicon nitride

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, W.L. ); Kanicki, J. ); Robertson, J. ); Lenahan, P.M. )

    1991-09-30

    The composition dependence and room-temperature metastability of the paramagnetic nitrogen dangling-bond center is amorphous silicon nitride suggest that its energy level lies close to the N {ital p}{pi} states, in agreement with theoretical calculations.

  2. RF sputtering for controlling dihydride and monohydride bond densities in amorphous silicon hydride

    DOEpatents

    Jeffery, F.R.; Shanks, H.R.

    1980-08-26

    A process is described for controlling the dihydride and monohydride bond densities in hydrogenated amorphous silicone produced by reactive rf sputtering of an amorphous silicon target. There is provided a chamber with an amorphous silicon target and a substrate therein with the substrate and the target positioned such that when rf power is applied to the target the substrate is in contact with the sputtering plasma produced thereby. Hydrogen and argon are fed to the chamber and the pressure is reduced in the chamber to a value sufficient to maintain a sputtering plasma therein, and then rf power is applied to the silicon target to provide a power density in the range of from about 7 watts per square inch to about 22 watts per square inch to sputter an amorphous solicone hydride onto the substrate, the dihydride bond density decreasing with an increase in the rf power density. Substantially pure monohydride films may be produced.

  3. Optimization of large amorphous silicon and silica structures for molecular dynamics simulations of energetic impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samela, Juha; Norris, Scott A.; Nordlund, Kai; Aziz, Michael J.

    2011-07-01

    A practical method to create optimized amorphous silicon and silica structures for molecular dynamics simulations is developed and tested. The method is based on the Wooten, Winer, and Weaire algorithm and combination of small optimized blocks to larger structures. The method makes possible to perform simulations of either very large cluster hypervelocity impacts on amorphous targets or small displacements induced by low energy ion impacts in silicon.

  4. Laser-induced amorphization of silicon during pulsed-laser irradiation of TiN/Ti/polycrystalline silicon/SiO2/silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chong, Y. F.; Pey, K. L.; Wee, A. T. S.; Thompson, M. O.; Tung, C. H.; See, A.

    2002-11-01

    In this letter, we report on the complex solidification structures formed during laser irradiation of a titanium nitride/titanium/polycrystalline silicon/silicon dioxide/silicon film stack. Due to enhanced optical coupling, the titanium nitride/titanium capping layer increases the melt depth of polycrystalline silicon by more than a factor of 2. It is found that the titanium atoms diffuse through the entire polycrystalline silicon layer during irradiation. Contrary to the expected polycrystalline silicon growth, distinct regions of polycrystalline and amorphous silicon are formed instead. Possible mechanisms for the formation of these microstructures are proposed.

  5. Laser assisted patterning of hydrogenated amorphous silicon for interdigitated back contact silicon heterojunction solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Vecchi, S.; Desrues, T.; Souche, F.; Muñoz, D.; Lemiti, M.

    2012-10-01

    This work reports on the elaboration of a new industrial process based on laser selective ablation of dielectric layers for Interdigitated Back Contact Silicon Heterojunction (IBC Si-HJ) solar cells fabrication. Choice of the process is discussed and cells are processed to validate its performance. A pulsed green laser (515nm) with 10-20ns pulse duration is used for hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layers patterning steps, whereas metallization is made by screen printed. High Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc=699mV) and Fill Factor (FF=78.5%) values are obtained simultaneously on IBC Si-HJ cells, indicating a high surface passivation level and reduced resistive losses. An efficiency of 19% on non textured 26 cm² solar cells has been reached with this new industrial process.

  6. Recrystallization of silicon-on-sapphire structures at various amorphization-ion-beam energies

    SciTech Connect

    Alexandrov, P. A. Demakov, K. D.; Shemardov, S. G.; Kuznetsov, Yu. Yu.

    2013-02-15

    Silicon films on sapphire substrates are grown via recrystallization from the silicon-sapphire interface. An amorphous layer is formed using ion implantation with silicon ion energies of 90-150 keV. An X-ray rocking curve is used to estimate the crystalline perfection of the silicon films. After recrystallization, the silicon layer consists of two parts with different crystalline quality. The recrystallized silicon-on-sapphire structures have a highly perfect upper layer (for fabricating microelectronic devices) and a lower layer adjacent to the sapphire substrate containing a large number of defects.

  7. Laminated Amorphous Silicon Neutron Detector (pre-print)

    SciTech Connect

    Harry McHugh, Howard Branz, Paul Stradins, and Yueqin Xu

    2009-01-29

    An internal R&D project was conducted at the Special Technologies Laboratory (STL) of National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec), to determine the feasibility of developing a multi-layer boron-10 based thermal neutron detector using the amorphous silicon (AS) technology currently employed in the manufacture of liquid crystal displays. The boron-10 neutron reaction produces an alpha that can be readily detected. A single layer detector, limited to an approximately 2-micron-thick layer of boron, has a theoretical sensitivity of about 3%; hence a thin multi-layer device with high sensitivity can theoretically be manufactured from single layer detectors. Working with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), an AS PiN diode alpha detector was developed and tested. The PiN diode was deposited on a boron-10 coated substrate. Testing confirmed that the neutron sensitivity was nearly equal to the theoretical value of 3%. However, adhesion problems with the boron-10 coating prevented successful development of a prototype detector. Future efforts will include boron deposition work and development of integrated AS signal processing circuitry.

  8. Hot wire deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mahan, A.H.; Iwaniczko, E.; Nelson, B.P.; Reedy, R.C. Jr.; Crandall, R.S.

    1996-05-01

    This paper details the results of a study in which low H content, high deposition rate hot wire (HW) deposited amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) has been incorporated into a substrate solar cell. The authors find that the treatment of the top surface of the HW i layer while it is being cooled from its high deposition temperature is crucial to device performance. They present data concerning these surface treatments, and correlate these treatments with Schottky device performance. The authors also present first generation HW n-i-p solar cell efficiency data, where a glow discharge (GD) {mu}c-Si(p) layer was added to complete the partial devices. No light trapping layer was used to increase the device Jsc. Their preliminary investigations have yielded efficiencies of up to 6.8% for a cell with a 4000 {Angstrom} thick HW i-layer, which degrade less than 10% after a 900 hour light soak. The authors suggest avenues for further improvement of their devices.

  9. Research on stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon multijunction modules

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, A.; Chen, E.; Clough, R.; Glatfelter, T.; Guha, S.; Hammond, G.; Hopson, M.; Jackett, N.; Lycette, M.; Noch, J.; Palmer, T.; Pawlikiewicz, A.; Rosenstein, I.; Ross, R.; Wolf, D.; Xu, X.; Yang, J.; Younan, K.

    1992-04-01

    This report describes the progress made during Phase 1 of research and development program to obtain high-efficiency amorphous silicon alloy multijunction modules. Using a large-area deposition system, double-and triple-junction cells were made on stainless steel substrates of over 1 ft{sup 2} area with Ag and ZnO predeposited back reflector. Modules of over 1 ft{sup 2} were produced with between 9.2% and 9.9 initial aperture-area efficiencies as measured under a USSC Spire solar simulator. Efficiencies as measured under the NREL Spire solar simulator were found to be typically 15% to 18% lower. The causes for this discrepancy are now being investigated. The modules show about 15% degradation after 600 hours of one-sun illumination at 50{degrees}C. To optimize devices for higher stabilized efficiency, a new method was developed by which the performance of single-junction cells after long-term, one-sun exposure at 50{degrees}C can be predicted by exposing cells to short-term intense light at different temperatures. This method is being used to optimize the component cells of the multijunction structure to obtain the highest light-degraded efficiency.

  10. Characterization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon films obtained from rice husk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandi, K. C.; Mukherjee, D.; Biswas, A. K.; Acharya, H. N.

    1991-08-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon ( a-Si: H) films were prepared by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of silanes generated by the acid hydrolysis of magnesium silicide (Mg 2Si) obtained from rice husk. The films were deposited at various substrate temperatures ( Ts) ranging from 430 to 520°C. The results show that the films have room temperature (294 K) dark conductivity (σ d) of the order of 10 -8 - 10 -10 (ohm-cm) -1 with single activation energy (Δ Ed) and the photoconductivity (σ ph) decreases with increase of Ts. Optical band gap ( Eopt) lies between 1.60-1.73 eV and hydrogen content ( CH) in the films is at best 8.3 at %. Au/ a-Si: H junction shows that it acts as a rectifier contact with Schottky barrier height ( VB) 0.69 eV. The films are contaminated by traces of impurities like Na, K, Al, Cl and O as revealed by secondary ion mass spectrometric (SIMS) analysis.

  11. Temperature dependent deformation mechanisms in pure amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Kiran, M. S. R. N. Haberl, B.; Williams, J. S.; Bradby, J. E.

    2014-03-21

    High temperature nanoindentation has been performed on pure ion-implanted amorphous silicon (unrelaxed a-Si) and structurally relaxed a-Si to investigate the temperature dependence of mechanical deformation, including pressure-induced phase transformations. Along with the indentation load-depth curves, ex situ measurements such as Raman micro-spectroscopy and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy analysis on the residual indents reveal the mode of deformation under the indenter. While unrelaxed a-Si deforms entirely via plastic flow up to 200 °C, a clear transition in the mode of deformation is observed in relaxed a-Si with increasing temperature. Up to 100 °C, pressure-induced phase transformation and the observation of either crystalline (r8/bc8) end phases or pressure-induced a-Si occurs in relaxed a-Si. However, with further increase of temperature, plastic flow rather than phase transformation is the dominant mode of deformation. It is believed that the elevated temperature and pressure together induce bond softening and “defect” formation in structurally relaxed a-Si, leading to the inhibition of phase transformation due to pressure-releasing plastic flow under the indenter.

  12. Deployable aerospace PV array based on amorphous silicon alloys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanak, Joseph J.; Walter, Lee; Dobias, David; Flaisher, Harvey

    1989-01-01

    The development of the first commercial, ultralight, flexible, deployable, PV array for aerospace applications is discussed. It is based on thin-film, amorphous silicon alloy, multijunction, solar cells deposited on a thin metal or polymer by a proprietary, roll-to-roll process. The array generates over 200 W at AM0 and is made of 20 giant cells, each 54 cm x 29 cm (1566 sq cm in area). Each cell is protected with bypass diodes. Fully encapsulated array blanket and the deployment mechanism weigh about 800 and 500 g, respectively. These data yield power per area ratio of over 60 W/sq m specific power of over 250 W/kg (4 kg/kW) for the blanket and 154 W/kg (6.5 kg/kW) for the power system. When stowed, the array is rolled up to a diameter of 7 cm and a length of 1.11 m. It is deployed quickly to its full area of 2.92 m x 1.11 m, for instant power. Potential applications include power for lightweight space vehicles, high altitude balloons, remotely piloted and tethered vehicles. These developments signal the dawning of a new age of lightweight, deployable, low-cost space arrays in the range from tens to tens of thousands of watts for near-term applications and the feasibility of multi-100 kW to MW arrays for future needs.

  13. Amorphous silicon cell array powered solar tracking apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Hanak, Joseph J.

    1985-01-01

    An array of an even number of amorphous silicon solar cells are serially connected between first and second terminals of opposite polarity. The terminals are connected to one input terminal of a DC motor whose other input terminal is connected to the mid-cell of the serial array. Vane elements are adjacent the end cells to selectively shadow one or the other of the end cells when the array is oriented from a desired attitude relative to the sun. The shadowing of one cell of a group of cells on one side of the mid-cell reduces the power of that group substantially so that full power from the group of cells on the other side of the mid-cell drives the motor to reorient the array to the desired attitude. The cell groups each have a full power output at the power rating of the motor. When the array is at the desired attitude the power output of the two groups of cells balances due to their opposite polarity so that the motor remains unpowered.

  14. Effects of relaxation on the energy landscape of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kallel, Houssem; Mousseau, Normand; Schiettekatte, Francois

    2008-03-01

    Amorphous silicon is used in many devices around us, included as a thin-film transistor in most flat screens, it also serves as the reference for the study of disordered network systems. Recently, differential scanning calorimetry and nanocalorimetry measurements (DSC) ^1 have shown that the heat released as the temperature of the sample is raised following implantation, is temperature independent. To understand this behaviour, we characterize the energy landscape of model a-Si. Using the activation-relaxation technique (ART nouveau) with the modified Stillinger-Weber potential, we generate models at four levels of relaxation and identify the relaxation mechanisms by analysing 100 000 events for each model. We find that while the distribution of the activation barriers shifts to higher energy as the system is relaxed, the distribution of the relaxation energies is almost unchanged. The relation between these two phenomena is consistent with the DSC measurements. This work is supported, in part, by NSERC, FQRNT and the CRC Foundation. HK is grateful for a scholarship from the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology. ^1 R. Karmouch et al., Phys. Rev. B 75, 075304 (2007)

  15. Power change in amorphous silicon technology by low temperature annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittal, Ankit; Rennhofer, Marcus; Dangel, Angelika; Duman, Bogdan; Schlosser, Victor

    2015-07-01

    Amorphous silicon (a-Si) is one of the best established thin-film solar-cell technologies. Despite its long history of research, it still has many critical issues because of its defect rich material and its susceptibility to degrade under light also called as Staebler-Wronski effect (SWE). This leads to an increase in the defect density of a-Si, but as a metastable effect it can be completely healed at temperatures above 170 °C. Our study is focused on investigating the behavior of annealing of different a-Si modules under low temperature conditions below 80 °C indicated by successive change of module power. These conditions reflect the environmental temperature impact of the modules in the field, or integrated in buildings as well. The power changes were followed by STC power rating and investigation of module-power evolution under low irradiance conditions at 50 W/m2. Our samples were recovered close to their initial state of power, reaching as high as 99% from its degraded value. This shows the influence of low temperature annealing and light on metastable module behavior in a-Si thin-film modules.

  16. The influence of pressure on defects in amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grossman, Jeffrey; Wagner, Lucas

    2009-03-01

    Amorphous silicon(a-Si) thin-film solar cells are promising materials for solar cells, but they suffer from the Staebler-Wronski effect (SWE), in which the efficiency degrades over the course of a few hours of light exposure. While there has been progress in mitigating this effect through sample preparation, there is still no clear microscopic explanation for the degradation. We have used first principles density functional theory and highly accurate quantum Monte Carlo calculations to investigate the effect of pressure on different types of defects present in a-Si. Our calculations show that the effect of pressure on a-Si is strongly dependent on the particular type of defect, and they further may provide new ways to experimentally determine the dominant defect type. We also report on the effect of pressure on the simplest reaction in a-Si: a bond switch between two neighboring Si atoms, which could be an important element in the understanding of the SWE [1]. [1] L.K. Wagner and J.C. Grossman. PRL (in press)

  17. Nanohole Structuring for Improved Performance of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Johlin, Eric; Al-Obeidi, Ahmed; Nogay, Gizem; Stuckelberger, Michael; Buonassisi, Tonio; Grossman, Jeffrey C

    2016-06-22

    While low hole mobilities limit the current collection and efficiency of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) photovoltaic devices, attempts to improve mobility of the material directly have stagnated. Herein, we explore a method of utilizing nanostructuring of a-Si:H devices to allow for improved hole collection in thick absorber layers. This is achieved by etching an array of 150 nm diameter holes into intrinsic a-Si:H and then coating the structured material with p-type a-Si:H and a conformal zinc oxide transparent conducting layer. The inclusion of these nanoholes yields relative power conversion efficiency (PCE) increases of ∼45%, from 7.2 to 10.4% PCE for small area devices. Comparisons of optical properties, time-of-flight mobility measurements, and internal quantum efficiency spectra indicate this efficiency is indeed likely occurring from an improved collection pathway provided by the nanostructuring of the devices. Finally, we estimate that through modest optimizations of the design and fabrication, PCEs of beyond 13% should be obtainable for similar devices.

  18. Raman spectroscopy of PIN hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keya, Kimitaka; Torigoe, Yoshihiro; Toko, Susumu; Yamashita, Daisuke; Seo, Hyunwoong; Itagaki, Naho; Koga, Kazunori; Shiratani, Masaharu

    2015-09-01

    Light-induced degradation of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is a key issue for enhancing competitiveness in solar cell market. A-Si:H films with a lower density of Si-H2 bonds shows higher stability. Here we identified Si-H2 bonds in PIN a-Si:H solar cells fabricated by plasma CVD using Raman spectroscopy. A-Si:H solar cell has a structure of B-doped μc-SiC:H (12.5 nm)/ non-doped a-Si:H (250nm)/ P-doped μc-Si:H (40 nm) on glass substrates (Asahi-VU). By irradiating HeNe laser light from N-layer, peaks correspond to Si-H2 bonds (2100 cm-1) and Si-H bonds (2000 cm-1) have been identified in Raman scattering spectra. The intensity ratio of Si-H2 and Si-H ISiH2/ISiH is found to correlate well to light induced degradation of the cells Therefore, Raman spectroscopy is a promising method for studying origin of light-induced degradation of PIN solar cells.

  19. Deployable aerospace PV array based on amorphous silicon alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanak, Joseph J.; Walter, Lee; Dobias, David; Flaisher, Harvey

    1989-04-01

    The development of the first commercial, ultralight, flexible, deployable, PV array for aerospace applications is discussed. It is based on thin-film, amorphous silicon alloy, multijunction, solar cells deposited on a thin metal or polymer by a proprietary, roll-to-roll process. The array generates over 200 W at AM0 and is made of 20 giant cells, each 54 cm x 29 cm (1566 sq cm in area). Each cell is protected with bypass diodes. Fully encapsulated array blanket and the deployment mechanism weigh about 800 and 500 g, respectively. These data yield power per area ratio of over 60 W/sq m specific power of over 250 W/kg (4 kg/kW) for the blanket and 154 W/kg (6.5 kg/kW) for the power system. When stowed, the array is rolled up to a diameter of 7 cm and a length of 1.11 m. It is deployed quickly to its full area of 2.92 m x 1.11 m, for instant power. Potential applications include power for lightweight space vehicles, high altitude balloons, remotely piloted and tethered vehicles. These developments signal the dawning of a new age of lightweight, deployable, low-cost space arrays in the range from tens to tens of thousands of watts for near-term applications and the feasibility of multi-100 kW to MW arrays for future needs.

  20. Wide gap microcrystalline silicon carbide emitter for amorphous silicon oxide passivated heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomaska, Manuel; Richter, Alexei; Lentz, Florian; Niermann, Tore; Finger, Friedhelm; Rau, Uwe; Ding, Kaining

    2017-02-01

    Wide gap n-type microcrystalline silicon carbide [µc-SiC:H(n)] is highly suitable as window layer material for silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells due to its high optical transparency combined with high electrical conductivity. However, the hot wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) of highly crystalline µc-SiC:H(n) requires a high hydrogen radical density in the gas phase that gives rise to strong deterioration of the intrinsic amorphous silicon oxide [a-SiO x :H(i)] surface passivation. Introducing an n-type microcrystalline silicon oxide [µc-SiO x :H(n)] protection layer between the µc-SiC:H(n) and the a-SiO x :H(i) prevents the deterioration of the passivation by providing an etch resistance and by blocking the diffusion of hydrogen radicals. We fabricated solar cells with µc-SiC:H(n)/µc-SiO x :H(n)/a-SiO x :H(i) stack for the front side and varied the µc-SiO x :H(n) material properties by changing the microstructure of the µc-SiO x :H(n) to evaluate the potential of such stack implemented in SHJ solar cells and to identify the limiting parameters of the protection layer in the device. With this approach we achieved a maximum open circuit voltage of 677 mV and a maximum energy conversion efficiency of 18.9% for a planar solar cell.

  1. Preparation of fine silicon particles from amorphous silicon monoxide by the disproportionation reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamiya, Mikito; Takei, Humihiko; Kikuchi, Masae; Uyeda, Chiaki

    2001-07-01

    Fine Si particles have been prepared by the disproportionation reaction of silicon monoxide (SiO), that is: 2SiO→Si+SiO 2. Amorphous powders of SiO are heated between 900°C and 1400°C in a flow of Ar and the obtained specimens are analyzed by X-ray powder diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The treatments between 1000°C and 1300°C for more than 0.5 h result in origination of Si particles dispersed in amorphous oxide media. The particle size varies from 1-3 to 20-40 nm, depending on the heating temperature. Kinetic analyses of the reaction reveal that the activation energy is 1.1 eV (82.1 kJ mol -1). The specimens annealed above 1350°C changes into a mixture of Si and cristobalite, suggesting a solid state transformation in the surrounding oxides from the amorphous to crystalline states.

  2. Realistic inversion of diffraction data for an amorphous solid: The case of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, Anup; Biswas, Parthapratim; Bhattarai, Bishal; Drabold, D. A.

    2016-12-01

    We apply a method called "force-enhanced atomic refinement" (FEAR) to create a computer model of amorphous silicon (a -Si) based upon the highly precise x-ray diffraction experiments of Laaziri et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 3460 (1999), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.82.3460]. The logic underlying our calculation is to estimate the structure of a real sample a -Si using experimental data and chemical information included in a nonbiased way, starting from random coordinates. The model is in close agreement with experiment and also sits at a suitable energy minimum according to density-functional calculations. In agreement with experiments, we find a small concentration of coordination defects that we discuss, including their electronic consequences. The gap states in the FEAR model are delocalized compared to a continuous random network model. The method is more efficient and accurate, in the sense of fitting the diffraction data, than conventional melt-quench methods. We compute the vibrational density of states and the specific heat, and we find that both compare favorably to experiments.

  3. Amorphous silicon Schottky barrier solar cells incorporating a thin insulating layer and a thin doped layer

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1980-01-01

    Amorphous silicon Schottky barrier solar cells which incorporate a thin insulating layer and a thin doped layer adjacent to the junction forming metal layer exhibit increased open circuit voltages compared to standard rectifying junction metal devices, i.e., Schottky barrier devices, and rectifying junction metal insulating silicon devices, i.e., MIS devices.

  4. Relaxation and derelaxation of pure and hydrogenated amorphous silicon during thermal annealing experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kail, F.; Farjas, J.; Roura, P.; Secouard, C.; Nos, O.; Bertomeu, J.; Alzina, F.; Roca i Cabarrocas, P.

    2010-07-01

    The structural relaxation of pure amorphous silicon (a-Si) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) materials, that occurs during thermal annealing experiments, has been analyzed by Raman spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. Unlike a-Si, the heat evolved from a-Si:H cannot be explained by relaxation of the Si-Si network strain but it reveals a derelaxation of the bond angle strain. Since the state of relaxation after annealing is very similar for pure and hydrogenated materials, our results give strong experimental support to the predicted configurational gap between a-Si and crystalline silicon.

  5. Production Of Tandem Amorphous Silicon Alloy Solar Cells In A Continuous Roll-To-Roll Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izu, Masat; Ovshinsky, Stanford R.

    1983-09-01

    A roll-to-roll plasma deposition machine for depositing multi-layered amorphous alloys has been developed. The plasma deposition machine (approximately 35 ft. long) has multiple deposition areas and processes 16-inch wide stainless steel substrate continuously. Amorphous photovoltaic thin films (less than 1pm) having a six layered structure (PINPIN) are deposited on a roll of 16-inch wide 1000 ft. long stainless steel substrate, continu-ously, in a single pass. Mass production of low-cost tandem amorphous solar cells utilizing roll-to-roll processes is now possible. A commercial plant utilizing this plasma deposition machine for manufacturing tandem amorphous silicon alloy solar cells is now in operation. At Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD), one of the major tasks of the photovoltaic group has been the scale-up of the plasma deposition process for the production of amorphous silicon alloy solar cells. Our object has been to develop the most cost effective way of producing amorphous silicon alloy solar cells having the highest efficiency. The amorphous silicon alloy solar cell which we produce has the following layer structure: 1. Thin steel substrate. 2. Multi-layered photovoltaic amorphous silicon alloy layers (approximately 1pm thick; tandem cells have six layers). 3. ITO. 4. Grid pattern. 5. Encapsulant. The deposition of the amorphous layer is technologically the key process. It was clear to us from the beginning of this scale-up program that amorphous silicon alloy solar cells produced in wide width, continuous roll-to-roll production process would be ultimate lowest cost solar cells according to the following reasons. First of all, the material cost of our solar cells is low because: (1) the total thickness of active material is less than 1pm, and the material usage is very small; (2) silicon, fluorine, hydrogen, and other materials used in the device are abundant and low cost; (3) thin, low-cost substrate is used; and (4) product yield is high. In

  6. Amorphous and crystalline silicon based heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schüttauf, J. A.

    2011-10-01

    In this thesis, research on amorphous and crystalline silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells is described. Probably the most important feature of SHJ solar cells is a thin intrinsic amorphous silicion (a-Si:H) layer that is deposited before depositing the doped emitter and back surface field. The passivation properties of such intrinsic layers made by three different chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techniques have been investigated. For layers deposited at 130°C, all techniques show a strong reduction in surface recombination velocity (SRV) after annealing. Modelling indicates that dangling bond saturation by atomic hydrogen is the predominant mechanism. We obtain outstanding carrier lifetimes of 10.3 ms, corresponding to SRVs of 0.56 cm/s. For a-Si:H films made at 250°C, an as-deposited minority carrier lifetime of 2.0 ms is observed. In contrast to a-Si:H films fabricated at 130°C, however, no change in passivation quality upon thermal annealing is observed. These films were fabricated for the first time using a continuous in-line HWCVD mode. Wafer cleaning before a-Si:H deposition is a crucial step for c-Si surface passivation. We tested the influence of an atomic hydrogen treatment before a-Si:H deposition on the c-Si surface. The treatments were performed in a new virgin chamber to exclude Si deposition from the chamber walls. Subsequently, we deposited a-Si:H layers onto the c-Si wafers and measured the lifetime for different H treatment times. We found that increasing hydrogen treatment times led to lower effective lifetimes. Modelling of the measured minority carrier lifetime data shows that the decreased passivation quality is caused by an increased defect density at the amorphous-crystalline interface. Furtheremore, the passivation of different a-Si:H containing layers have been tested. For intrinsic films and intrinsic/n-type stacks, an improvement in passivation up to 255°C and 270°C is observed. This improvement is attributed to dangling bond

  7. Dynamics of hydrogenated amorphous silicon flexural resonators for enhanced performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mouro, J.; Chu, V.; Conde, J. P.

    2016-04-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin-film flexural resonators with sub-micron actuation gaps are fabricated by surface micromachining on glass substrates. Experimentally, the resonators are electrostatically actuated and their motion is optically detected. Three different configurations for the electrostatic excitation force are used to study the dynamics of the resonators. In the first case, a dc voltage (Vdc) is added to an ac voltage with variable excitation frequency (Vac(ω)) and harmonic, superharmonic, and subharmonic resonances of different orders are observed. The second case consists on mixing the dc voltage (Vdc) with an ac voltage applied at a fixed frequency of twice the natural frequency of the resonator (V(2ω0)). High-amplitude parametric resonance is excited at the natural frequency of the system, ω0. This configuration allows a separation between the frequencies of the excitation and the mechanical motion. Finally, in the third case, the dc voltage (Vdc) is combined with both ac voltages, Vac(ω) and V(2ω0), and parametric resonance is excited and emerges from the fundamental harmonic resonance peak. The single-degree-of-freedom equation of motion is modeled and discussed for each case. The nonlinearity inherent to the electrostatic force is responsible for modulating the spring constant of the system at different frequencies, giving rise to parametric resonance. These equations of motion are simulated in the time and frequency domains, providing a consistent explanation of the experimentally observed phenomena. A wide variety of possible resonance modes with different characteristics can be used advantageously in MEMS device design.

  8. Stabilization of amorphous structure in silicon thin film by adding germanium

    SciTech Connect

    Makino, Nobuaki; Shigeta, Yukichi

    2015-06-21

    The stabilization of the amorphous structure in amorphous silicon film by adding Ge atoms was studied using Raman spectroscopy. Amorphous Si{sub 1−x}Ge{sub x} (x = 0.0, 0.03, 0.14, and 0.27) films were deposited on glass substrates from electron beam evaporation sources and annealed in N{sub 2} atmosphere. The change in the amorphous states and the phase transition from amorphous to crystalline were characterized using the TO, LO, and LA phonons in the Raman spectra. The temperature of the transition from the amorphous phase to the crystalline phase was higher for the a-Si{sub 1−x}Ge{sub x} (x = 0.03, 0.14) films, and the crystallization was hindered. The reason why the addition of a suitable quantity of Ge atoms into the three-dimensional amorphous silicon network stabilizes its amorphous structure is discussed based on the changes in the Raman signals of the TO, LO, and LA phonons during annealing. The characteristic bond length of the Ge atoms allows them to stabilize the random network of the amorphous Si composed of quasi-tetrahedral Si units, and obstruct its rearrangement.

  9. Fiber Optic Excitation of Silicon Microspheres in Amorphous and Crystalline Fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yılmaz, Huzeyfe; Yılmaz, Hasan; Sharif Murib, Mohammed; Serpengüzel, Ali

    2016-03-01

    This study investigates the optical resonance spectra of free-standing monolithic single crystal silicon microspheres immersed in various amorphous fluids, such as air, water, ethylene glycol, and 4-Cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl nematic liquid crystal. For the various amorphous fluids, morphology-dependent resonances with quality factors on the order of 105 are observed at 1428 nm. The mode spacing is always on the order of 0.23 nm. The immersion in various amorphous fluids affects the spectral response of the silicon microsphere and heralds this technique for use in novel optofluidics applications. Even though the nematic liquid crystal is a highly birefringent, scattering, and high-index optical medium, morphology-dependent resonances with quality factors on the order of 105 are observed at 1300 nm in the elastic scattering spectra of the silicon microsphere, realizing a liquid-crystal-on-silicon geometry. The relative refractive index and the size parameter of the silicon microsphere are the parameters that affect the resonance structure. The more 4-Cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl interacting with the silicon microsphere, the lower the quality factor of the resonances is. The more 4-Cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl is interacting with the silicon microsphere, the lower the mode spacing Δλ of the resonances is. The silicon microspheres wetted with nematic liquid crystal can be used for optically addressed liquid-crystal-on-silicon displays, light valve applications, or reconfigurable optical networks.

  10. Formation of amorphous silicon by light ion damage

    SciTech Connect

    Shih, Y.C.

    1985-12-01

    Amorphization by implantation of boron ions (which is the lightest element generally used in I.C. fabrication processes) has been systematically studied for various temperatures, various voltages and various dose rates. Based on theoretical considerations and experimental results, a new amorphization model for light and intermediate mass ion damage is proposed consisting of two stages. The role of interstitial type point defects or clusters in amorphization is emphasized. Due to the higher mobility of interstitials out-diffusion to the surface particularly during amorphization with low energy can be significant. From a review of the idealized amorphous structure, diinterstitial-divacancy pairs are suggested to be the embryos of amorphous zones formed during room temperature implantation. The stacking fault loops found in specimens implanted with boron at room temperature are considered to be the origin of secondary defects formed during annealing.

  11. Passivation of c-Si surfaces by sub-nm amorphous silicon capped with silicon nitride

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Yimao Yan, Di; Bullock, James; Zhang, Xinyu; Cuevas, Andres

    2015-12-07

    A sub-nm hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) film capped with silicon nitride (SiN{sub x}) is shown to provide a high level passivation to crystalline silicon (c-Si) surfaces. When passivated by a 0.8 nm a-Si:H/75 nm SiN{sub x} stack, recombination current density J{sub 0} values of 9, 11, 47, and 87 fA/cm{sup 2} are obtained on 10 Ω·cm n-type, 0.8 Ω·cm p-type, 160 Ω/sq phosphorus-diffused, and 120 Ω/sq boron-diffused silicon surfaces, respectively. The J{sub 0} on n-type 10 Ω·cm wafers is further reduced to 2.5 ± 0.5 fA/cm{sup 2} when the a-Si:H film thickness exceeds 2.5 nm. The passivation by the sub-nm a-Si:H/SiN{sub x} stack is thermally stable at 400 °C in N{sub 2} for 60 min on all four c-Si surfaces. Capacitance–voltage measurements reveal a reduction in interface defect density and film charge density with an increase in a-Si:H thickness. The nearly transparent sub-nm a-Si:H/SiN{sub x} stack is thus demonstrated to be a promising surface passivation and antireflection coating suitable for all types of surfaces encountered in high efficiency c-Si solar cells.

  12. Performance improvement in amorphous silicon based uncooled microbolometers through pixel design and materials development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajmera, Sameer; Brady, John; Hanson, Charles; Schimert, Tom; Syllaios, A. J.; Taylor, Michael

    2011-06-01

    Uncooled amorphous silicon microbolometers have been established as a field-worthy technology for a broad range of applications where performance and form factor are paramount, such as soldier-borne systems. Recent developments in both bolometer materials and pixel design at L-3 in the 17μm pixel node have further advanced the state-of-the-art. Increasing the a-Si material temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) has the impact of improving NETD sensitivity without increasing thermal time constant (TTC), leading to an improvement in the NETD×TTC product. By tuning the amorphous silicon thin-film microstructure using hydrogen dilution during deposition, films with high TCR have been developed. The electrical properties of these films have been shown to be stable even after thermal cycling to temperatures greater than 300oC enabling wafer-level vacuum packaging currently performed at L-3 to reduce the size and weight of the vacuum packaged unit. Through appropriate selection of conditions during deposition, amorphous silicon of ~3.4% TCR has been integrated into the L-3 microbolometer manufacturing flow. By combining pixel design enhancements with improvements to amorphous silicon thin-film technology, L-3's amorphous silicon microbolometer technology will continue to provide the performance required to meet the needs to tomorrow's war-fighter.

  13. Proton and deuteron nuclear magnetic resonance studies of amorphous hydrogenated silicon, carbon, and carbon alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kernan, Mary Jane Wurth

    Despite the profound influence of semiconductors and the changes they have produced, many fundamental questions remain unanswered. We have used proton and deuteron nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to explore the role of hydrogens in amorphous silicon and amorphous carbon and carbon alloy films. In the carbon films, dipolar filtering techniques reveal a two-component shifted lineshape in the proton NMR spectra and deuteron magnetic resonance (DMR) data demonstrate a feedstock gas dependence in the film deposition process. In these measurements, DMR is used to examine the effect of hydrogen on the photovoltaic properties of amorphous silicon thin films. We have measured the effects of photoillumination on amorphous silicon, particularly with respect to the process of metastable defect formation (the Staebler-Wronski effect). The creation and passivation of dangling silicon bonds is observed and quantified. We report large-scale light-induced atomic rearrangements which produce shifts and broadenings of the DMR lineshapes. The deuterium NMR lineshape component most affected by atomic rearrangements is a broad central feature which is shown to be molecular in origin. This spectral feature includes hydrogens trapped and immobile on surfaces created by strains and dislocations in the material. Narrowing of the lineshape at elevated temperatures indicates motion with a small activation energy. The substantial population represented by this feature is shown to account for at least 15% of the total hydrogens in high-quality amorphous silicon samples.

  14. Crystalline-Amorphous Silicon Nanocomposites with Reduced Thermal Conductivity for Bulk Thermoelectrics.

    PubMed

    Miura, Asuka; Zhou, Shu; Nozaki, Tomohiro; Shiomi, Junichiro

    2015-06-24

    Responding to the need for thermoelectric materials with high efficiency in both conversion and cost, we developed a nanostructured bulk silicon thermoelectric materials by sintering silicon crystal quantum dots of several nanometers in diameters synthesized by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The material consists of hybrid structures of nanograins of crystalline silicon and amorphous silicon oxide. The percolated nanocrystalline region gives rise to high power factor with the high doping concentration realized by PECVD, and the binding amorphous region reduces thermal conductivity. Consequently, the nondimensional figure of merit reaches 0.39 at 600 °C, equivalent to the best reported value for silicon thermoelectrics. The thermal conductivity of the densely packed material is as low as 5 W m(-1) K(-1) in a wide temperature range from room temperature to 1000 °C, which is beneficial not only for the conversion efficiency but also for material cost by requiring less material to establish certain temperature gradient.

  15. Construction and characterization of amorphous-silicon test structures

    SciTech Connect

    Koppel, L.N.; Milgram, A.A.

    1987-08-01

    Semiconductor device fabrication and characterization work indicates that construction of amorphous-Si photoconductive radiation detectors is feasible. Amorphous Si films are mechanically stable and adhere well to candidate electrode materials; form Schottky-type rectifying junctions with several electrode metals. Materials exist for forming ohmic contacts on amorphous-Si films. Fabrication facilities accessible to ARACOR produce material of nominal band-gap energy, dangling bond density, and dielectric constant. Modification of amorphous-Si conductivity is feasible and supports the construction of PIN devices. Significant photoconductive response is observed for both Schottky-type and PIN devices, with the latter providing superior performance. It is recommended that construction and experimental evaluation of prototype amorphous-Si radiation detectors be persued in Phase II.

  16. Core-shell amorphous silicon-carbon nanoparticles for high performance anodes in lithium ion batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sourice, Julien; Bordes, Arnaud; Boulineau, Adrien; Alper, John P.; Franger, Sylvain; Quinsac, Axelle; Habert, Aurélie; Leconte, Yann; De Vito, Eric; Porcher, Willy; Reynaud, Cécile; Herlin-Boime, Nathalie; Haon, Cédric

    2016-10-01

    Core-shell silicon-carbon nanoparticles are attractive candidates as active material to increase the capacity of Li-ion batteries while mitigating the detrimental effects of volume expansion upon lithiation. However crystalline silicon suffers from amorphization upon the first charge/discharge cycle and improved stability is expected in starting with amorphous silicon. Here we report the synthesis, in a single-step process, of amorphous silicon nanoparticles coated with a carbon shell (a-Si@C), via a two-stage laser pyrolysis where decomposition of silane and ethylene are conducted in two successive reaction zones. Control of experimental conditions mitigates silicon core crystallization as well as formation of silicon carbide. Auger electron spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy show a carbon shell about 1 nm in thickness, which prevents detrimental oxidation of the a-Si cores. Cyclic voltammetry demonstrates that the core-shell composite reaches its maximal lithiation during the first sweep, thanks to its amorphous core. After 500 charge/discharge cycles, it retains a capacity of 1250 mAh.g-1 at a C/5 rate and 800 mAh.g-1 at 2C, with an outstanding coulombic efficiency of 99.95%. Moreover, post-mortem observations show an electrode volume expansion of less than 20% and preservation of the nanostructuration.

  17. Substrate and Passivation Techniques for Flexible Amorphous Silicon-Based X-ray Detectors

    PubMed Central

    Marrs, Michael A.; Raupp, Gregory B.

    2016-01-01

    Flexible active matrix display technology has been adapted to create new flexible photo-sensing electronic devices, including flexible X-ray detectors. Monolithic integration of amorphous silicon (a-Si) PIN photodiodes on a flexible substrate poses significant challenges associated with the intrinsic film stress of amorphous silicon. This paper examines how altering device structuring and diode passivation layers can greatly improve the electrical performance and the mechanical reliability of the device, thereby eliminating one of the major weaknesses of a-Si PIN diodes in comparison to alternative photodetector technology, such as organic bulk heterojunction photodiodes and amorphous selenium. A dark current of 0.5 pA/mm2 and photodiode quantum efficiency of 74% are possible with a pixelated diode structure with a silicon nitride/SU-8 bilayer passivation structure on a 20 µm-thick polyimide substrate. PMID:27472329

  18. Stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon solar cells with low hydrogen content

    SciTech Connect

    Fortmann, C.M.; Hegedus, S.S. )

    1992-12-01

    Results and conclusions obtained during a research program of the investigation of amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon based alloy materials and solar cells fabricated by photo-chemical vapor and glow discharge depositions are reported. Investigation of the effects of the hydrogen content in a-si:H i-layers in amorphous silicon solar cells show that cells with lowered hydrogen content i-layers are more stable. A classical thermodynamic formulation of the Staebler-Wronski effect has been developed for standard solar cell operating temperatures and illuminations. Methods have been developed to extract a lumped equivalent circuit from the current voltage characteristic of a single junction solar cell in order to predict its behavior in a multijunction device.

  19. Radial junction amorphous silicon solar cells on PECVD-grown silicon nanowires.

    PubMed

    Yu, Linwei; O'Donnell, Benedict; Foldyna, Martin; Roca i Cabarrocas, Pere

    2012-05-17

    Constructing radial junction hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells on top of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) represents a promising approach towards high performance and cost-effective thin film photovoltaics. We here develop an all-in situ strategy to grow SiNWs, via a vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism on top of ZnO-coated glass substrate, in a plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) reactor. Controlling the distribution of indium catalyst drops allows us to tailor the as-grown SiNW arrays into suitable size and density, which in turn results in both a sufficient light trapping effect and a suitable arrangement allowing for conformal coverage of SiNWs by subsequent a-Si:H layers. We then demonstrate the fabrication of radial junction solar cells and carry on a parametric study designed to shed light on the absorption and quantum efficiency response, as functions of the intrinsic a-Si:H layer thickness and the density of SiNWs. These results lay a solid foundation for future structural optimization and performance ramp-up of the radial junction thin film a-Si:H photovoltaics.

  20. Photoemission studies of amorphous silicon induced by P + ion implantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petö, G.; Kanski, J.

    1995-12-01

    An amorphous Si layer was formed on a Si (1 0 0) surface by P + implantation at 80 keV. This layer was investigated by means of photoelectron spectroscopy. The resulting spectra are different from earlier spectra on amorphous Si prepared by e-gun evaporation or cathode sputtering. The differences consist of a decreased intensity in the spectral region corresponding to p-states, and appearace of new states at higher binding energy. Qualitativity similar results have been reported for Sb implanted amorphous Ge and the modification seems to be due to the changed short range order.

  1. N-type crystalline silicon films free of amorphous silicon deposited on glass by HCl addition using hot wire chemical vapour deposition.

    PubMed

    Chung, Yung-Bin; Park, Hyung-Ki; Lee, Sang-Hoon; Song, Jean-Ho; Hwang, Nong-Moon

    2011-09-01

    Since n-type crystalline silicon films have the electric property much better than those of hydrogenated amorphous and microcrystalline silicon films, they can enhance the performance of advanced electronic devices such as solar cells and thin film transistors (TFTs). Since the formation of amorphous silicon is unavoidable in the low temperature deposition of microcrystalline silicon on a glass substrate at temperatures less than 550 degrees C in the plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition and hot wire chemical vapour deposition (HWCVD), crystalline silicon films have not been deposited directly on a glass substrate but fabricated by the post treatment of amorphous silicon films. In this work, by adding the HCl gas, amorphous silicon-free n-type crystalline silicon films could be deposited directly on a glass substrate by HWCVD. The resistivity of the n-type crystalline silicon film for the flow rate ratio of [HCl]/[SiH4] = 7.5 and [PH3]/[SiH4] = 0.042 was 5.31 x 10(-4) ohms cm, which is comparable to the resistivity 1.23 x 10(-3) ohms cm of films prepared by thermal annealing of amorphous silicon films. The absence of amorphous silicon in the film could be confirmed by high resolution transmission electron microscopy.

  2. In situ observation of shear-driven amorphization in silicon crystals

    SciTech Connect

    He, Yang; Zhong, Li; Fan, Feifei; Wang, Chongmin; Zhu, Ting; Mao, Scott X.

    2016-09-19

    Amorphous materials have attracted great interest in the scientific and technological fields. An amorphous solid usually forms under the externally driven conditions of melt-quenching, irradiation and severe mechanical deformation. However, its dynamic formation process remains elusive. Here we report the in situ atomic-scale observation of dynamic amorphization processes during mechanical straining of nanoscale silicon crystals by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). We observe the shear-driven amorphization (SDA) occurring in a dominant shear band. The SDA involves a sequence of processes starting with the shear-induced diamond-cubic to diamond-hexagonal phase transition that is followed by dislocation nucleation and accumulation in the newly formed phase, leading to the formation of amorphous silicon. The SDA formation through diamond-hexagonal phase is rationalized by its structural conformity with the order in the paracrystalline amorphous silicon, which maybe widely applied to diamond-cubic materials. Besides, the activation of SDA is orientation-dependent through the competition between full dislocation nucleation and partial gliding.

  3. Investigation of hydrogen plasma treatment for reducing defects in silicon quantum dot superlattice structure with amorphous silicon carbide matrix

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the effects of hydrogen plasma treatment (HPT) on the properties of silicon quantum dot superlattice films. Hydrogen introduced in the films efficiently passivates silicon and carbon dangling bonds at a treatment temperature of approximately 400°C. The total dangling bond density decreases from 1.1 × 1019 cm-3 to 3.7 × 1017 cm-3, which is comparable to the defect density of typical hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide films. A damaged layer is found to form on the surface by HPT; this layer can be easily removed by reactive ion etching. PMID:24521208

  4. In situ observation of shear-driven amorphization in silicon crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Yang; Zhong, Li; Fan, Feifei; Wang, Chongmin; Zhu, Ting; Mao, Scott X.

    2016-10-01

    Amorphous materials are used for both structural and functional applications. An amorphous solid usually forms under driven conditions such as melt quenching, irradiation, shock loading or severe mechanical deformation. Such extreme conditions impose significant challenges on the direct observation of the amorphization process. Various experimental techniques have been used to detect how the amorphous phases form, including synchrotron X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Raman spectroscopy, but a dynamic, atomistic characterization has remained elusive. Here, by using in situ high-resolution TEM (HRTEM), we show the dynamic amorphization process in silicon nanocrystals during mechanical straining on the atomic scale. We find that shear-driven amorphization occurs in a dominant shear band starting with the diamond-cubic (dc) to diamond-hexagonal (dh) phase transition and then proceeds by dislocation nucleation and accumulation in the newly formed dh-Si phase. This process leads to the formation of an amorphous Si (a-Si) band, embedded with dh-Si nanodomains. The amorphization of dc-Si via an intermediate dh-Si phase is a previously unknown pathway of solid-state amorphization.

  5. Elastic behavior of amorphous-crystalline silicon nanocomposite: An atomistic view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Suvankar; Dutta, Amlan

    2017-01-01

    In the context of mechanical properties, nanocomposites with homogeneous chemical composition throughout the matrix and the dispersed phase are of particular interest. In this study, the elastic moduli of amorphous-crystalline silicon nanocomposite have been estimated using atomistic simulations. A comparison with the theoretical model reveals that the elastic behavior is significantly influenced by the crystal-amorphous interphase. On observing the effect of volume-fraction of the crystalline phase, an anomalous trend for the bulk modulus is obtained. This phenomenon is attributed to the relaxation displacements of the amorphous atoms.

  6. Amorphization and nanocrystallization of silicon under laser shock compression: bridging experiment with atomic simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shiteng; Kad, Bimal; Hahn, Eric; Remington, Bruce; Wehrenberg, Christopher; Bringa, Eduardo; Huntington, Channing; Park, Hye-Sook; More, Karren; Meyers, Marc

    Terawatt, nanosecond-duration, laser-driven, shock compression and recovery experiments on [001] silicon unveiled remarkable structural changes above a pressure threshold. Two distinct amorphous regions were identified: (a) a bulk amorphous layer close to the surface and (b) amorphous bands initially aligned with {111}slip planes. Further increase of the laser energy leads to the re-crystallization of amorphous silicon into nanocrystals with high concentration of nano-twins. Shock-induced defects play a very important role in the onset of amorphization. Calculations of the free energy changes with pressure and shear, using the Patel-Cohen methodology, are in agreement with the experimental results. Molecular dynamics simulation corroborates the amorphization, showing that it is initiated by the nucleation and propagation of partial dislocations. The nucleation of amorphization is analyzed by classical nucleation theory. This research is funded by a UC Research Laboratories Grant (09-LR-06-118456-MEYM) and a National Laser Users Facility (NLUF) Grant (PE-FG52-09NA-29043).

  7. Graphene as a transparent electrode for amorphous silicon-based solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Vaianella, F. Rosolen, G.; Maes, B.

    2015-06-28

    The properties of graphene in terms of transparency and conductivity make it an ideal candidate to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) in a transparent conducting electrode. However, graphene is not always as good as ITO for some applications, due to a non-negligible absorption. For amorphous silicon photovoltaics, we have identified a useful case with a graphene-silica front electrode that improves upon ITO. For both electrode technologies, we simulate the weighted absorption in the active layer of planar amorphous silicon-based solar cells with a silver back-reflector. The graphene device shows a significantly increased absorbance compared to ITO-based cells for a large range of silicon thicknesses (34.4% versus 30.9% for a 300 nm thick silicon layer), and this result persists over a wide range of incidence angles.

  8. Electrodeposition at room temperature of amorphous silicon and germanium nanowires in ionic liquid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martineau, F.; Namur, K.; Mallet, J.; Delavoie, F.; Endres, F.; Troyon, M.; Molinari, M.

    2009-11-01

    The electrodeposition at room temperature of silicon and germanium nanowires from the air- and water-stable ionic liquid 1-butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (P1,4) containing SiCl4 as Si source or GeCl4 as Ge source is investigated by cyclic voltammetry. By using nanoporous polycarbonate membranes as templates, it is possible to reproducibly grow pure silicon and germanium nanowires of different diameters. The nanowires are composed of pure amorphous silicon or germanium. The nanowires have homogeneous cylindrical shape with a roughness of a few nanometres on the wire surfaces. The nanowires' diameters and lengths well match with the initial membrane characteristics. Preliminary photoluminescence experiments exhibit strong emission in the near infrared for the amorphous silicon nanowires.

  9. Electrically Active Defects In Solar Cells Based On Amorphous Silicon/Crystalline Silicon Heterojunction After Irradiation By Heavy Xe Ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmatha, Ladislav; Mikolášek, Miroslav; Stuchlíková, L'ubica; Kósa, Arpád; Žiška, Milan; Hrubčín, Ladislav; Skuratov, Vladimir A.

    2015-11-01

    The contribution is focused on the diagnostics of structures with a heterojunction between amorphous and crystalline silicon prepared by HIT (Heterojunction with an Intrinsic Thin layer) technology. The samples were irradiated by Xe ions with energy 167 MeV and doses from 5 × 108 cm-2 to 5 × 1010 cm-2. Radiation defects induced in the bulk of Si and at the hydrogenated amorphous silicon and crystalline silicon (a-Si:H/c-Si) interface were identified by Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS). Radiation induced A-centre traps, boron vacancy traps and different types of divacancies with a high value of activation energy were observed. With an increased fluence of heavy ions the nature and density of the radiation induced defects was changed.

  10. Optimization of transparent and reflecting electrodes for amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, R. G.; Hu, Jianhua; Musher, J.; Giunta, C.

    1991-02-01

    The specific objectives of this research are to: (1) deposit and characterize textured zinc oxide with improved conductivities (less than 8 ohms/square sheet resistance) and optical transmission (greater than 85 percent for 450 to 700 nm), for use as front and back contacts in hydrogenated amorphous silicon p-i-n devices; (2) study the surface morphology of zinc oxide films deposited by chemical vapor deposition at atmospheric pressure (APCVD), their crystallite sizes, shapes and orientations, and their nucleation (early growth) as a function of chemical precursors and reaction conditions; (3) optimize the growth process to produce structures that provide good light trapping in an amorphous silicon film deposited on the zinc oxide film; (4) study the deposition rate of zinc oxide films as a function of temperature, and concentration and types of reactants; (5) maximize the growth rate, subject to the conditions of maintaining satisfactory film properties, including high transparency (85 percent), high conductivity (8 ohm/square sheet resistance), and good light trapping; (6) develop techniques for deposition of fluorinated zinc oxide films by APCVD on amorphous silicon films in the temperature range of 250 to 280 C for use as back contacts; (7) deposit titanium nitride films at a temperature of about 250 C by APCVD on amorphous silicon as diffusion barrier, and then deposit highly reflective metals such as aluminum or silver; (8) anneal samples and test for metal diffusion through the TiN into the silicon; (9) optimize the TiN film for minimum diffusion consistent with maintaining desirable TiN film properties; and (10) incorporate the front and back contacts including the TiN barrier layer developed under this research into amorphous silicon p-i-n devices and determine the film parameters that provide the greatest improvement in the device solar energy conversion efficiency.

  11. First-principles study of the mechanical and optical properties of amorphous hydrogenated silicon and silicon-rich silicon oxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bondi, Robert J.; Lee, Sangheon; Hwang, Gyeong S.

    2010-05-01

    We use first-principles density-functional theory (DFT) calculations to predict mechanical and optical property variation with composition for hydrogenated amorphous Si (a-Si:H) ( at.%H=0 , 5.9, 11.1, and 15.8) and a-SiOx ( x=0 , 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0). A better understanding of the properties of a-Si:H and amorphous silicon oxide (a-SiOx) is technologically important, particularly for photovoltaic and optoelectronic device applications, respectively. However, relatively little reliable property information is available for these amorphous materials except for the well-studied end-point cases of a-Si and a-SiO2 . Our DFT calculations within the generalized gradient approximation predict that addition of H to a-Si monotonically reduces the elastic modulus (Y) by 18% and bulk modulus (B) by 16% as H incorporation increases to 15.8at.% in a-Si:H. Similarly, addition of O to a-Si monotonically reduces Y by 35% and B by 38% as x increases to 2.0 in a-SiOx . Our optical spectra for the complex dielectric function, ɛ(ω) , exhibit intensity reduction in the E2 transition peak of Im[ɛ(ω)] and reduction in the low-frequency dielectric constant {ɛo=limω→0Re[ɛ(ω)]} as either H or O are added to a-Si while the a-SiOx spectra additionally resolve a vivid blueshift of both the fundamental absorption edge and E2 transition energy as O content increases. Considering the large variation in reported experimental measurements and the limited availability of previous computational results, our property predictions provide valuable insight into the mechanical and optical behavior of a-Si:H and a-SiOx materials.

  12. Direct Simulation of Ion Beam Induced Stressing and Amorphization of Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Beardmore, K.M.; Gronbech-Jensen, N.

    1999-05-02

    Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, the authors investigate the mechanical response of silicon to high dose ion-irradiation. The authors employ a realistic model to directly simulate ion beam induced amorphization. Structural properties of the amorphized sample are compared with experimental data and results of other simulation studies. The authors find the behavior of the irradiated material is related to the rate at which it can relax. Depending upon the ability to deform, the authors observe either the generation of a high compressive stress and subsequent expansion of the material, or generation of tensile stress and densification. The authors note that statistical material properties, such as radial distribution functions are not sufficient to differentiate between the different densities of the amorphous samples. For any reasonable deformation rate, the authors observe an expansion of the target upon amorphization in agreement with experimental observations. This is in contrast to simulations of quenching which usually result in a denser structure relative to crystalline Si. The authors conclude that although there is substantial agreement between experimental measurements and simulation results, the amorphous structures being investigated may have fundamental differences; the difference in density can be attributed to local defects within the amorphous network. Finally the authors show that annealing simulations of their amorphized samples can lead to a reduction of high energy local defects without a large scale rearrangement of the amorphous network. This supports the proposal that defects in a-Si are analogous to those in c-Si.

  13. Charging/discharging behavior and mechanism of silicon quantum dots embedded in amorphous silicon carbide films

    SciTech Connect

    Wen, Xixing; Zeng, Xiangbin Zheng, Wenjun; Liao, Wugang; Feng, Feng

    2015-01-14

    The charging/discharging behavior of Si quantum dots (QDs) embedded in amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC{sub x}) was investigated based on the Al/insulating layer/Si QDs embedded in a-SiC{sub x}/SiO{sub 2}/p-Si (metal-insulator-quantum dots-oxide-silicon) multilayer structure by capacitance-voltage (C-V) and conductance-voltage (G-V) measurements. Transmission electron microscopy and Raman scattering spectroscopy measurements reveal the microstructure and distribution of Si QDs. The occurrence and shift of conductance peaks indicate the carrier transfer and the charging/discharging behavior of Si QDs. The multilayer structure shows a large memory window of 5.2 eV at ±8 V sweeping voltage. Analysis of the C-V and G-V results allows a quantification of the Coulomb charging energy and the trapped charge density associated with the charging/discharging behavior. It is found that the memory window is related to the size effect, and Si QDs with large size or low Coulomb charging energy can trap two or more electrons by changing the charging voltage. Meanwhile, the estimated lower potential barrier height between Si QD and a-SiC{sub x}, and the lower Coulomb charging energy of Si QDs could enhance the charging and discharging effect of Si QDs and lead to an enlarged memory window. Further studies of the charging/discharging mechanism of Si QDs embedded in a-SiC{sub x} can promote the application of Si QDs in low-power consumption semiconductor memory devices.

  14. Hybrid method of making an amorphous silicon P-I-N semiconductor device

    DOEpatents

    Moustakas, Theodore D.; Morel, Don L.; Abeles, Benjamin

    1983-10-04

    The invention is directed to a hydrogenated amorphous silicon PIN semiconductor device of hybrid glow discharge/reactive sputtering fabrication. The hybrid fabrication method is of advantage in providing an ability to control the optical band gap of the P and N layers, resulting in increased photogeneration of charge carriers and device output.

  15. Method of forming semiconducting amorphous silicon films from the thermal decomposition of fluorohydridodisilanes

    DOEpatents

    Sharp, Kenneth G.; D'Errico, John J.

    1988-01-01

    The invention relates to a method of forming amorphous, photoconductive, and semiconductive silicon films on a substrate by the vapor phase thermal decomposition of a fluorohydridodisilane or a mixture of fluorohydridodisilanes. The invention is useful for the protection of surfaces including electronic devices.

  16. Amorphous silicon research. Annual subcontract report, October 1, 1994--September 30, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Arya, R R; Bennett, M; Bradley, D

    1996-02-01

    The major effort in this program is to develop cost-effective processes which satisfy efficiency, yield, and material usage criteria for mass production of amorphous silicon-based multijunction modules. New and improved processes were developed for the component cells and a more robust rear contact was developed for better long term stability.

  17. SIMS Study of Elemental Diffusion During Solid Phase Crystallization of Amorphous Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Reedy, R. C.; Young, D.; Branz, H. M.; Wang, Q.

    2005-11-01

    Crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films deposited on low-cost substrates shows potential for solar cell applications. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) was used to study impurity incorporation, hydrogen evolution, and dopant diffusion during the crystallization process

  18. Converting films for X-ray detectors, applied to amorphous silicon arrays

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, S.; Zentai, G.

    1998-12-31

    This paper presents results from the on-going efforts to characterize semiconductor thin films for direct X-ray conversion. The authors deposit these thin films onto an amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) readout array with the overall goal of developing a large area X-ray detector for protein crystallography, and for other X-ray imaging fields.

  19. Converting films for x-ray detectors, applied to amorphous silicon arrays.

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, S.; Zentai, G.

    1997-12-05

    This paper presents results from our on-going efforts to characterize semiconductor thin films for direct x-ray conversion. We deposit these thin films onto an amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) readout array with the overall goal of developing a large area x-ray detector for protein crystallography, and for other x-ray imaging fields.

  20. Size effects on the thermal conductivity of amorphous silicon thin films

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas Edwin Beechem; Braun, Jeffrey L.; Baker, Christopher H.; Elahi, Miraz; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Norris, Pamela M.; Leseman, Zayd Chad; Gaskins, John T.; Hopkins, Patrick E.; Giri, Ashutosh

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we investigate thickness-limited size effects on the thermal conductivity of amorphous silicon thin films ranging from 3 to 1636 nm grown via sputter deposition. While exhibiting a constant value up to ~100 nm, the thermal conductivity increases with film thickness thereafter. The thickness dependence we demonstrate is ascribed to boundary scattering of long wavelength vibrations and an interplay between the energy transfer associated with propagating modes (propagons) and nonpropagating modes (diffusons). A crossover from propagon to diffuson modes is deduced to occur at a frequency of ~1.8 THz via simple analytical arguments. These results provide empirical evidence of size effects on the thermal conductivity of amorphous silicon and systematic experimental insight into the nature of vibrational thermal transport in amorphous solids.

  1. Size effects on the thermal conductivity of amorphous silicon thin films

    DOE PAGES

    Thomas Edwin Beechem; Braun, Jeffrey L.; Baker, Christopher H.; ...

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we investigate thickness-limited size effects on the thermal conductivity of amorphous silicon thin films ranging from 3 to 1636 nm grown via sputter deposition. While exhibiting a constant value up to ~100 nm, the thermal conductivity increases with film thickness thereafter. The thickness dependence we demonstrate is ascribed to boundary scattering of long wavelength vibrations and an interplay between the energy transfer associated with propagating modes (propagons) and nonpropagating modes (diffusons). A crossover from propagon to diffuson modes is deduced to occur at a frequency of ~1.8 THz via simple analytical arguments. These results provide empirical evidencemore » of size effects on the thermal conductivity of amorphous silicon and systematic experimental insight into the nature of vibrational thermal transport in amorphous solids.« less

  2. Low-temperature Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Silicon Materials and Thin-film Transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sazonov, Andrei; Striakhilev, Denis; Nathan, Arokia

    Low-temperature processing and characterization of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) materials and devices are reviewed. An overview of silicon-based low-temperature thin-film dielectrics is given in the context of thin-film transistor (TFT) device operation. The low-temperature growth and synthesis of these materials are also presented and compared to conventionally fabricated high-temperature processed devices. The effect of using nc-Si contacts on a-Si:H TFTs and the stability of nc-Si TFTs is reviewed.

  3. Amorphous Silicon Carbide Passivating Layers to Enable Higher Processing Temperature in Crystalline Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary

    2015-04-06

    "Very efficient crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells have been demonstrated when thin layers of intrinsic and doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) are used for passivation and carrier selectivity in a heterojunction device. One limitation of this device structure is the (parasitic) absorption in the front passivation/collection a-Si:H layers; another is the degradation of the a-Si:H-based passivation upon temperature, limiting the post-processes to approximately 200°C thus restricting the contacting possibilities and potential tandem device fabrication. To alleviate these two limitations, we explore the potential of amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC:H), a widely studied material in use in standard a-Si:H thin-film solar cells, which is known for its wider bandgap, increased hydrogen content and stronger hydrogen bonding compared to a-Si:H. We study the surface passivation of solar-grade textured n-type c-Si wafers for symmetrical stacks of 10-nm-thick intrinsic a-SiC:H with various carbon content followed by either p-doped or n-doped a-Si:H (referred to as i/p or i/n stacks). For both doping types, passivation (assessed through carrier lifetime measurements) is degraded by increasing the carbon content in the intrinsic a-SiC:H layer. Yet, this hierarchy is reversed after annealing at 350°C or more due to drastic passivation improvements upon annealing when an a-SiC:H layer is used. After annealing at 350°C, lifetimes of 0.4 ms and 2.0 ms are reported for i/p and i/n stacks, respectively, when using an intrinsic a-SiC:H layer with approximately 10% of carbon (initial lifetimes of 0.3 ms and 0.1 ms, respectively, corresponding to a 30% and 20-fold increase, respectively). For stacks of pure a-Si:H material the lifetimes degrade from 1.2 ms and 2.0 ms for i/p and i/n stacks, respectively, to less than 0.1 ms and 1.1 ms (12-fold and 2-fold decrease, respectively). For complete solar cells using pure a-Si:H i/p and i/n stacks, the open-circuit voltage (Voc

  4. Integrated Amorphous Silicon p-i-n Temperature Sensor for CMOS Photonics.

    PubMed

    Rao, Sandro; Pangallo, Giovanni; Della Corte, Francesco Giuseppe

    2016-01-06

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) shows interesting optoelectronic and technological properties that make it suitable for the fabrication of passive and active micro-photonic devices, compatible moreover with standard microelectronic devices on a microchip. A temperature sensor based on a hydrogenated amorphous silicon p-i-n diode integrated in an optical waveguide for silicon photonics applications is presented here. The linear dependence of the voltage drop across the forward-biased diode on temperature, in a range from 30 °C up to 170 °C, has been used for thermal sensing. A high sensitivity of 11.9 mV/°C in the bias current range of 34-40 nA has been measured. The proposed device is particularly suitable for the continuous temperature monitoring of CMOS-compatible photonic integrated circuits, where the behavior of the on-chip active and passive devices are strongly dependent on their operating temperature.

  5. Amorphous/crystalline silicon interface passivation: Ambient-temperature dependence and implications for solar cell performance

    DOE PAGES

    Seif, Johannes P.; Krishnamani, Gopal; Demaurex, Benedicte; ...

    2015-03-02

    Silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells feature amorphous silicon passivation films, which enable very high voltages. We report how such passivation increases with operating temperature for amorphous silicon stacks involving doped layers and decreases for intrinsic-layer-only passivation. We discuss the implications of this phenomenon on the solar cell's temperature coefficient, which represents an important figure-of-merit for the energy yield of devices deployed in the field. We show evidence that both open-circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor (FF) are affected by these variations in passivation and quantify these temperature-mediated effects, compared with those expected from standard diode equations. We confirm that devicesmore » with high Voc values at 25°C show better high-temperature performance. Thus, we also argue that the precise device architecture, such as the presence of charge-transport barriers, may affect the temperature-dependent device performance as well.« less

  6. Dose effects on amorphous silicon sputtering by argon ions: A molecular dynamics simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Marques, L.A.; Rubio, J.E.; Jaraiz, M.; Bailon, L.A.; Barbolla, J.J.

    1997-02-01

    We have investigated, using molecular dynamics techniques, the sputtering yield enhancement of amorphous silicon produced by argon ion accumulation within the target. Several amorphous silicon samples, with different argon contents, were bombarded with 1 keV argon ions at normal incidence. To study the influence of the target structure, we considered samples with different argon arrangements, either uniformly distributed or within solid bubbles. We have observed that silicon sputtering yield increases linearly with dose until steady state conditions are reached. This enhancement is produced by the shallow argon atoms through the weakening of Si{endash}Si bonds. We have also observed that argon release takes place even long after the end of the collisional phase, and it is produced by ion-induced desorption and bubble destabilization. This enhanced argon yield determines the dose where target saturation and steady state conditions are reached. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  7. Amorphous/crystalline silicon interface passivation: Ambient-temperature dependence and implications for solar cell performance

    SciTech Connect

    Seif, Johannes P.; Krishnamani, Gopal; Demaurex, Benedicte; Ballif, Christophe; Wolf, Stefaan De

    2015-03-02

    Silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells feature amorphous silicon passivation films, which enable very high voltages. We report how such passivation increases with operating temperature for amorphous silicon stacks involving doped layers and decreases for intrinsic-layer-only passivation. We discuss the implications of this phenomenon on the solar cell's temperature coefficient, which represents an important figure-of-merit for the energy yield of devices deployed in the field. We show evidence that both open-circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor (FF) are affected by these variations in passivation and quantify these temperature-mediated effects, compared with those expected from standard diode equations. We confirm that devices with high Voc values at 25°C show better high-temperature performance. Thus, we also argue that the precise device architecture, such as the presence of charge-transport barriers, may affect the temperature-dependent device performance as well.

  8. Sub-amorphous thermal conductivity in ultrathin crystalline silicon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Wingert, Matthew C; Kwon, Soonshin; Hu, Ming; Poulikakos, Dimos; Xiang, Jie; Chen, Renkun

    2015-04-08

    Thermal transport behavior in nanostructures has become increasingly important for understanding and designing next generation electronic and energy devices. This has fueled vibrant research targeting both the causes and ability to induce extraordinary reductions of thermal conductivity in crystalline materials, which has predominantly been achieved by understanding that the phonon mean free path (MFP) is limited by the characteristic size of crystalline nanostructures, known as the boundary scattering or Casimir limit. Herein, by using a highly sensitive measurement system, we show that crystalline Si (c-Si) nanotubes (NTs) with shell thickness as thin as ∼5 nm exhibit a low thermal conductivity of ∼1.1 W m(-1) K(-1). Importantly, this value is lower than the apparent boundary scattering limit and is even about 30% lower than the measured value for amorphous Si (a-Si) NTs with similar geometries. This finding diverges from the prevailing general notion that amorphous materials represent the lower limit of thermal transport but can be explained by the strong elastic softening effect observed in the c-Si NTs, measured as a 6-fold reduction in Young's modulus compared to bulk Si and nearly half that of the a-Si NTs. These results illustrate the potent prospect of employing the elastic softening effect to engineer lower than amorphous, or subamorphous, thermal conductivity in ultrathin crystalline nanostructures.

  9. A Comparison of Photo-Induced Hysteresis Between Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon and Amorphous IGZO Thin-Film Transistors.

    PubMed

    Ha, Tae-Jun; Cho, Won-Ju; Chung, Hong-Bay; Koo, Sang-Mo

    2015-09-01

    We investigate photo-induced instability in thin-film transistors (TFTs) consisting of amorphous indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (a-IGZO) as active semiconducting layers by comparing with hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). An a-IGZO TFT exhibits a large hysteresis window in the illuminated measuring condition but no hysteresis window in the dark condition. On the contrary, a large hysteresis window measured in the dark condition in a-Si:H was not observed in the illuminated condition. Even though such materials possess the structure of amorphous phase, optical responses or photo instability in TFTs looks different from each other. Photo-induced hysteresis results from initially trapped charges at the interface between semiconductor and dielectric films or in the gate dielectric which possess absorption energy to interact with deep trap-states and affect the movement of Fermi energy level. In order to support our claim, we also perform CV characteristics in photo-induced hysteresis and demonstrate thermal-activated hysteresis. We believe that this work can provide important information to understand different material systems for optical engineering which includes charge transport and band transition.

  10. Reactive Infiltration of Silicon Melt Through Microporous Amorphous Carbon Preforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sangsuwan, P.; Tewari, S. N.; Gatica, J. E.; Singh, M.; Dickerson, R.

    1999-01-01

    The kinetics of unidirectional capillary infiltration of silicon melt into microporous carbon preforms have been investigated as a function of the pore morphology and melt temperature. The infiltrated specimens showed alternating bands of dark and bright regions, which corresponded to the unreacted free carbon and free silicon regions, respectively. The decrease in the infiltration front velocity for increasing infiltration distances, is in qualitative agreement with the closed-form solution of capillarity driven fluid flow through constant cross section cylindrical pores. However, drastic changes in the thermal response and infiltration front morphologies were observed for minute differences in the preforms microstructure. This suggests the need for a dynamic percolation model that would account for the exothermic nature of the silicon-carbon chemical reaction and the associated pore closing phenomenon.

  11. Directed dewetting of amorphous silicon film by a donut-shaped laser pulse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Jae-Hyuck; In, Jung Bin; Zheng, Cheng; Sakellari, Ioanna; Raman, Rajesh N.; Matthews, Manyalibo J.; Elhadj, Selim; Grigoropoulos, Costas P.

    2015-04-01

    Irradiation of a thin film with a beam-shaped laser is proposed to achieve site-selectively controlled dewetting of the film into nanoscale structures. As a proof of concept, the laser-directed dewetting of an amorphous silicon thin film on a glass substrate is demonstrated using a donut-shaped laser beam. Upon irradiation of a single laser pulse, the silicon film melts and dewets on the substrate surface. The irradiation with the donut beam induces an unconventional lateral temperature profile in the film, leading to thermocapillary-induced transport of the molten silicon to the center of the beam spot. Upon solidification, the ultrathin amorphous silicon film is transformed to a crystalline silicon nanodome of increased height. This morphological change enables further dimensional reduction of the nanodome as well as removal of the surrounding film material by isotropic silicon etching. These results suggest that laser-based dewetting of thin films can be an effective way for scalable manufacturing of patterned nanostructures.

  12. Unusually High and Anisotropic Thermal Conductivity in Amorphous Silicon Nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Soonshin; Zheng, Jianlin; Wingert, Matthew C; Cui, Shuang; Chen, Renkun

    2017-02-02

    Amorphous Si (a-Si) nanostructures are ubiquitous in numerous electronic and optoelectronic devices. Amorphous materials are considered to possess the lower limit to the thermal conductivity (κ), which is ∼1 W·m(-1) K(-1) for a-Si. However, recent work suggested that κ of micrometer-thick a-Si films can be greater than 3 W·m(-1) K(-1), which is contributed to by propagating vibrational modes, referred to as "propagons". However, precise determination of κ in a-Si has been elusive. Here, we used structures of a-Si nanotubes and suspended a-Si films that enabled precise in-plane thermal conductivity (κ∥) measurement within a wide thickness range of 5 nm to 1.7 μm. We showed unexpectedly high κ∥ in a-Si nanostructures, reaching ∼3.0 and 5.3 W·m(-1) K(-1) at ∼100 nm and 1.7 μm, respectively. Furthermore, the measured κ∥ is significantly higher than the cross-plane κ on the same films. This unusually high and anisotropic thermal conductivity in the amorphous Si nanostructure manifests the surprisingly broad propagon mean free path distribution, which is found to range from 10 nm to 10 μm, in the disordered and atomically isotropic structure. This result provides an unambiguous answer to the century-old problem regarding mean free path distribution of propagons and also sheds light on the design and performance of numerous a-Si based electronic and optoelectronic devices.

  13. Device-size atomistic models of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vink, R. L. C.; Barkema, G. T.; Stijnman, M. A.; Bisseling, R. H.

    2001-12-01

    The atomic structure of amorphous materials is believed to be well described by the continuous-random-network model. We present an algorithm for the generation of large, high-quality continuous random networks. The algorithm is a variation of the sillium approach introduced by Wooten, Winer, and Weaire [Phys. Rev. Lett. 54, 1392 (1985)]. By employing local relaxation techniques, local atomic rearrangements can be tried that scale almost independently of system size. This scaling property of the algorithm paves the way for the generation of realistic device-size atomic networks.

  14. Ammonia sensitivity of amorphous carbon film/silicon heterojunctions

    SciTech Connect

    Gao Xili; Xue Qingzhong; Hao Lanzhong; Zheng Qingbin; Li Qun

    2007-09-17

    The amorphous carbon film/n-Si (a-C/Si) junctions have been fabricated by magnetron sputtering. The results show that these junctions have good rectifying properties and high ammonia (NH{sub 3}) gas sensitivity. For a given reverse bias voltage, the resistance of the junction can increase by 100 times rapidly when exposed to NH{sub 3} gas. This phenomenon may be attributed to the change of the space charge width of the junction, which is caused by the adsorption of NH{sub 3} gas molecules. This study shows that these a-C/Si junctions have potential application as NH{sub 3} gas detect sensors.

  15. Ultrasmooth growth of amorphous silicon films through ion-induced long-range surface correlations

    SciTech Connect

    Redondo-Cubero, A.; Gago, R.; Vazquez, L.

    2011-01-03

    Ultrasmooth amorphous silicon films with a constant roughness below 0.2 nm were produced for film thickness up to {approx}1 {mu}m by magnetron sputtering under negative voltage substrate biasing (100-400 V). In contrast, under unbiased conditions the roughness of the resulting mounded films increased linearly with growth time due to shadowing effects. A detailed analysis of the amorphous film growth dynamics proves that the bias-induced ultrasmoothness is produced by a downhill mass transport process that leads to an extreme surface leveling inducing surface height correlations up to lateral distances close to 0.5 {mu}m.

  16. Absence of an abrupt phase change from polycrystalline to amorphous in silicon with deposition temperature.

    PubMed

    Voyles, P M; Gerbi, J E; Treacy, M M; Gibson, J M; Abelson, J R

    2001-06-11

    Using fluctuation electron microscopy, we have observed an increase in the mesoscopic spatial fluctuations in the diffracted intensity from vapor-deposited silicon thin films as a function of substrate temperature from the amorphous to polycrystalline regimes. We interpret this increase as an increase in paracrystalline medium-range order in the sample. A paracrystal consists of topologically crystalline grains in a disordered matrix; in this model the increase in ordering is caused by an increase in the grain size or density. Our observations are counter to the previous belief that the amorphous to polycrystalline transition is a discontinuous disorder-order phase transition.

  17. Fabrication of high-quality amorphous silicon film from cyclopentasilane by vapor deposition between two parallel substrates.

    PubMed

    Shen, Zhongrong; Masuda, Takashi; Takagishi, Hideyuki; Ohdaira, Keisuke; Shimoda, Tatsuya

    2015-03-14

    Cyclopentasilane converts into amorphous silicon film between two parallel substrates under atmospheric pressure by thermal decomposition at 350-400 °C, which combines the advantages of high throughput with cost reduction and high quality film formation.

  18. Innovative Characterization of Amorphous and Thin-Film Silicon for Improved Module Performance: 1 February 2005 - 31 July 2008

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, P. C.; Williams, G. A.

    2009-09-01

    Electron spin resonance and nuclear magnetic resonance was done on amorphous silicon samples (modules with a-Si:H and a-SixGe1-x:H intrinsic layer) to study defects that contribute to Staebler-Wronski effect.

  19. Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation of amorphous silicon to increase the temperature processing window of silicon heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Jianwei; Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary

    2016-07-01

    The dehydrogenation of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) at temperatures above approximately 300 °C degrades its ability to passivate silicon wafer surfaces. This limits the temperature of post-passivation processing steps during the fabrication of advanced silicon heterojunction or silicon-based tandem solar cells. We demonstrate that a hydrogen plasma can rehydrogenate intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layers that have been dehydrogenated by annealing. The hydrogen plasma treatment fully restores the effective carrier lifetime to several milliseconds in textured crystalline silicon wafers coated with 8-nm-thick intrinsic a-Si:H layers after annealing at temperatures of up to 450 °C. Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation also translates to complete solar cells: A silicon heterojunction solar cell subjected to annealing at 450 °C (following intrinsic a-Si:H deposition) had an open-circuit voltage of less than 600 mV, but an identical cell that received hydrogen plasma treatment reached a voltage of over 710 mV and an efficiency of over 19%.

  20. The structure of band-tail states in amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drabold, D. A.; Dong, Jianjun

    1997-03-01

    We compute and analyze the electronic eigenstates of the realistic and large (4096) atom model of Djordjevic, Thorpe and Wooten(B. R. Djordjevic, M. F. Thorpe and F. Wooten, Phys. Rev. B 52) 5685 (1995) in the vicinity of the gap. We discuss the structure, localization, and conductivity (from the Kubo formula) for states from midgap, well into the interior of the valence band. Tight-binding and ab initio (LDA) approximations for the states are discussed; comparisons are made to total yield photoelectron spectroscopy measurements(S. Aljisji, J. D. Cohen, S. Jin and L. Ley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 64), 2811 (1990). This is an extension of our earlier work on amorphous diamond( J. Dong and D. A. Drabold, Phys. Rev. B 54) 10284 (1996) to a-Si.

  1. Solid-phase crystallization of amorphous silicon nanowire array and optical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishikawa, Ryousuke; Kato, Shinya; Yamazaki, Tatsuya; Kurokawa, Yasuyoshi; Miyajima, Shinsuke; Konagai, Makoto

    2014-02-01

    An amorphous silicon nanowire (a-SiNW) array perpendicular to a glass substrate can be successfully obtained through the metal-assisted chemical etching of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin films. The solid-phase crystallization of a-SiNWs was carried out by thermal annealing in a forming gas in the temperature range from 600 to 900 °C. The effects of hydrogen in the film and the film morphology on the crystallization of a-SiNWs were investigated by Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. A higher hydrogen concentration of a-SiNWs reduced the crystallization temperature, as in a-Si thin films. It was also revealed that the large surface area of the a-SiNW array affected the crystallization process. We also studied the optical property of the fabricated SiNW array and demonstrated its high potential as an active layer in solar cells.

  2. Label-free direct electronic detection of biomolecules with amorphous silicon nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Lund, John; Mehta, Ranjana; Parviz, Babak A

    2006-12-01

    We present the fabrication and characterization of a nano-scale sensor made of amorphous silicon for the label-free, electronic detection of three classes of biologically important molecules: ions, oligonucleotides, and proteins. The sensor structure has an active element which is a 50 nm wide amorphous silicon semicircle and has a total footprint of less than 4 microm2. We demonstrate the functionalization of the sensor with receptor molecules and the electronic detection of three targets: H(+) ions, short single-stranded DNAs, and streptavidin. The sensor is able to reliably distinguish single base-pair mismatches in 12 base long strands of DNA and monitor the introduction and identification of straptavidin in real-time. The versatile sensor structure can be readily functionalized with a wide range of receptor molecules and is suitable for integration with high-speed electronic circuits as a post-process on an integrated circuit chip.

  3. Solid-phase epitaxy of silicon amorphized by implantation of the alkali elements rubidium and cesium

    SciTech Connect

    Maier, R.; Haeublein, V.; Ryssel, H.; Voellm, H.; Feili, D.; Seidel, H.; Frey, L.

    2012-11-06

    The redistribution of implanted Rb and Cs profiles in amorphous silicon during solid-phase epitaxial recrystallization has been investigated by Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy and secondary ion mass spectroscopy. For the implantation dose used in these experiments, the alkali atoms segregate at the a-Si/c-Si interface during annealing resulting in concentration peaks near the interface. In this way, the alkali atoms are moved towards the surface. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy in ion channeling configuration was performed to measure average recrystallization rates of the amorphous silicon layers. Preliminary studies on the influence of the alkali atoms on the solid-phase epitaxial regrowth rate reveal a strong retardation compared to the intrinsic recrystallization rate.

  4. Corrosion resistance and cytocompatibility of biodegradable surgical magnesium alloy coated with hydrogenated amorphous silicon.

    PubMed

    Xin, Yunchang; Jiang, Jiang; Huo, Kaifu; Tang, Guoyi; Tian, Xiubo; Chu, Paul K

    2009-06-01

    The fast degradation rates in the physiological environment constitute the main limitation for the applications of surgical magnesium alloys as biodegradable hard-tissue implants. In this work, a stable and dense hydrogenated amorphous silicon coating (a-Si:H) with desirable bioactivity is deposited on AZ91 magnesium alloy using magnetron sputtering deposition. Raman spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy reveal that the coating is mainly composed of hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The hardness of the coated alloy is enhanced significantly and the coating is quite hydrophilic as well. Potentiodynamic polarization results show that the corrosion resistance of the coated alloy is enhanced dramatically. In addition, the deterioration process of the coating in simulated body fluids is systematically investigated by open circuit potential evolution and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The cytocompatibility of the coated Mg is evaluated for the first time using hFOB1.19 cells and favorable biocompatibility is observed.

  5. Highly efficient ultrathin-film amorphous silicon solar cells on top of imprinted periodic nanodot arrays

    SciTech Connect

    Yan, Wensheng Gu, Min; Tao, Zhikuo; Ong, Thiam Min Brian

    2015-03-02

    The addressing of the light absorption and conversion efficiency is critical to the ultrathin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells. We systematically investigate ultrathin a-Si:H solar cells with a 100 nm absorber on top of imprinted hexagonal nanodot arrays. Experimental evidences are demonstrated for not only notable silver nanodot arrays but also lower-cost ITO and Al:ZnO nanodot arrays. The measured external quantum efficiency is explained by the simulation results. The J{sub sc} values are 12.1, 13.0, and 14.3 mA/cm{sup 2} and efficiencies are 6.6%, 7.5%, and 8.3% for ITO, Al:ZnO, and silver nanodot arrays, respectively. Simulated optical absorption distribution shows high light trapping within amorphous silicon layer.

  6. An alternative system for mycotoxin detection based on amorphous silicon sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caputo, D.; de Cesare, G.; De Rossi, P.; Fanelli, C.; Nascetti, A.; Ricelli, A.; Scipinotti, R.

    2007-05-01

    In this work we investigate, for the first time, the performances of a system based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon photosensors for the detection of Ochratoxin A. The sensor is a n-type/intrinsic/p-type amorphous silicon stacked structure deposited on a glass substrate. The mycotoxin is deposited on a thin layer chromatographic plate and aligned with the sensor. An ultraviolet radiation excites the ochratoxin A, whose fluorescence produces a photocurrent in the sensor. The photocurrent value is proportional to the deposited mycotoxin quantity. An excellent linearity of the detector response over more than two orders of magnitude of ochratoxin A amount is observed. The minimum detected mycotoxin quantity is equal to 0.1ng, suggesting that the presented detection system could be a good candidate to perform rapid and analytical ochratoxin A analysis in different kind of samples.

  7. Carbon nanotube-amorphous silicon hybrid solar cell with improved conversion efficiency.

    PubMed

    Funde, Adinath M; Nasibulin, Albert G; Syed, Hashmi Gufran; Anisimov, Anton S; Tsapenko, Alexey; Lund, Peter; Santos, J D; Torres, I; Gandía, J J; Cárabe, J; Rozenberg, A D; Levitsky, Igor A

    2016-05-06

    We report a hybrid solar cell based on single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) interfaced with amorphous silicon (a-Si). The high quality carbon nanotube network was dry transferred onto intrinsic a-Si forming Schottky junction for metallic SWNT bundles and heterojunctions for semiconducting SWNT bundles. The nanotube chemical doping and a-Si surface treatment minimized the hysteresis effect in current-voltage characteristics allowing an increase in the conversion efficiency to 1.5% under an air mass 1.5 solar spectrum simulator. We demonstrated that the thin SWNT film is able to replace a simultaneously p-doped a-Si layer and transparent conductive electrode in conventional amorphous silicon thin film photovoltaics.

  8. Plasmonic effects in amorphous silicon thin film solar cells with metal back contacts.

    PubMed

    Palanchoke, Ujwol; Jovanov, Vladislav; Kurz, Henning; Obermeyer, Philipp; Stiebig, Helmut; Knipp, Dietmar

    2012-03-12

    Plasmonic effects in amorphous silicon thin film solar cells with randomly textured metal back contact were investigated experimentally and numerically. The influence of different metal back contacts with and without ZnO interlayer was studied and losses in the individual layers of the solar cell were quantified. The amorphous silicon thin film solar cells were prepared on randomly textured substrates using large area production equipment and exhibit conversion efficiencies approaching 10%. The optical wave propagation within the solar cells was studied by Finite Difference Time Domain simulations. The quantum efficiency of solar cells with and without ZnO interlayer was simulated and the interplay between the reflection, quantum efficiency and absorption in the back contact will be discussed.

  9. Atomistic modeling of amorphous silicon carbide using a bond-order potential

    SciTech Connect

    Devanathan, Ram; Gao, Fei; Weber, William J.

    2007-02-16

    Molecular dynamics simulations were performed with a Brenner-type bond-order potential to study the melting of silicon carbide (SiC), the structure of amorphous SiC produced by quenching from the melt, and the evolution of the amorphous state after isochronal annealing at elevated temperatures. The simulations reveal that SiC melts above 3700 K with an enthalpy of fusion of about 0.6 eV/atom. The density of the quenched liquid is about 2820 kg/m3, in excellent agreement with the experimental value for SiC amorphized by neutron irradiation. In addition to the loss of long-range order, the quenched liquid shows short-range disorder as measured by the C homonuclear bond ratio. Upon annealing, there is partial recovery of shortrange order.

  10. Nanoscale solely amorphous layer in silicon wafers induced by a newly developed diamond wheel.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhenyu; Guo, Liangchao; Cui, Junfeng; Wang, Bo; Kang, Renke; Guo, Dongming

    2016-10-13

    Nanoscale solely amorphous layer is achieved in silicon (Si) wafers, using a developed diamond wheel with ceria, which is confirmed by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). This is different from previous reports of ultraprecision grinding, nanoindentation and nanoscratch, in which an amorphous layer at the top, followed by a crystalline damaged layer beneath. The thicknesses of amorphous layer are 43 and 48 nm at infeed rates of 8 and 15 μm/min, respectively, which is verified using HRTEM. Diamond-cubic Si-I phase is verified in Si wafers using selected area electron diffraction patterns, indicating the absence of high pressure phases. Ceria plays an important role in the diamond wheel for achieving ultrasmooth and bright surfaces using ultraprecision grinding.

  11. Nanoscale solely amorphous layer in silicon wafers induced by a newly developed diamond wheel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhenyu; Guo, Liangchao; Cui, Junfeng; Wang, Bo; Kang, Renke; Guo, Dongming

    2016-10-01

    Nanoscale solely amorphous layer is achieved in silicon (Si) wafers, using a developed diamond wheel with ceria, which is confirmed by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). This is different from previous reports of ultraprecision grinding, nanoindentation and nanoscratch, in which an amorphous layer at the top, followed by a crystalline damaged layer beneath. The thicknesses of amorphous layer are 43 and 48 nm at infeed rates of 8 and 15 μm/min, respectively, which is verified using HRTEM. Diamond-cubic Si-I phase is verified in Si wafers using selected area electron diffraction patterns, indicating the absence of high pressure phases. Ceria plays an important role in the diamond wheel for achieving ultrasmooth and bright surfaces using ultraprecision grinding.

  12. Nanoscale solely amorphous layer in silicon wafers induced by a newly developed diamond wheel

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhenyu; Guo, Liangchao; Cui, Junfeng; Wang, Bo; Kang, Renke; Guo, Dongming

    2016-01-01

    Nanoscale solely amorphous layer is achieved in silicon (Si) wafers, using a developed diamond wheel with ceria, which is confirmed by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). This is different from previous reports of ultraprecision grinding, nanoindentation and nanoscratch, in which an amorphous layer at the top, followed by a crystalline damaged layer beneath. The thicknesses of amorphous layer are 43 and 48 nm at infeed rates of 8 and 15 μm/min, respectively, which is verified using HRTEM. Diamond-cubic Si-I phase is verified in Si wafers using selected area electron diffraction patterns, indicating the absence of high pressure phases. Ceria plays an important role in the diamond wheel for achieving ultrasmooth and bright surfaces using ultraprecision grinding. PMID:27734934

  13. Medium-range order in hydrogenated amorphous silicon measured by fluctuation microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Voyles, P. M.; Treacy, M. M. J.; Jin, H.-C.; Abelson, J. R.; Gibson, J. M.; Guha, S.; Crandall, R. S.

    2000-04-17

    The authors have characterized with fluctuation electron microscopy the medium-range order of hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films deposited by a variety of methods. Films were deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering, hot-wire chemical vapor deposition, and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition with and without H{sub 2} dilution of the SiH{sub 4} precursor gas. All of the films show the signature of the paracrystalline structure typical of amorphous Si. There are small variations in the degree of medium-range order with deposition methods and H{sub 2} content. The PECVD film grown with high H{sub 2} dilution contains Si crystals {approximately} 5 nm in diameter at a density of {approximately} 10{sup 9} cm{sup 2}. The amorphous matrix surrounding these crystals shows no difference in medium-range order from the standard PECVD film.

  14. The role of hydrogenated amorphous silicon oxide buffer layer on improving the performance of hydrogenated amorphous silicon germanium single-junction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sritharathikhun, Jaran; Inthisang, Sorapong; Krajangsang, Taweewat; Krudtad, Patipan; Jaroensathainchok, Suttinan; Hongsingtong, Aswin; Limmanee, Amornrat; Sriprapha, Kobsak

    2016-12-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon oxide (a-Si1-xOx:H) film was used as a buffer layer at the p-layer (μc-Si1-xOx:H)/i-layer (a-Si1-xGex:H) interface for a narrow band gap hydrogenated amorphous silicon germanium (a-Si1-xGex:H) single-junction solar cell. The a-Si1-xOx:H film was deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) at 40 MHz in a same processing chamber as depositing the p-type layer. An optimization of the thickness of the a-Si1-xOx:H buffer layer and the CO2/SiH4 ratio was performed in the fabrication of the a-Si1-xGex:H single junction solar cells. By using the wide band gap a-Si1-xOx:H buffer layer with optimum thickness and CO2/SiH4 ratio, the solar cells showed an improvement in the open-circuit voltage (Voc), fill factor (FF), and short circuit current density (Jsc), compared with the solar cells fabricated using the conventional a-Si:H buffer layer. The experimental results indicated the excellent potential of the wide-gap a-Si1-xOx:H buffer layers for narrow band gap a-Si1-xGex:H single junction solar cells.

  15. Estimation of the adequacy of the fractal model of the atomic structure of amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Golodenko, A. B.

    2010-01-15

    A method of constructing a fractal model of noncrystalline solid substance is considered using the example of amorphous silicon. In systems of iteration functions, the physical meaning of dihedral and valence angles of the elementary crystallographic cell is assigned to arguments. The model adequacy is estimated by the radial distribution function, the atomic structure density, the distribution of valence and dihedral angles, and the density of dangling interatomic bonds.

  16. Tandem solar cells made from amorphous silicon and polymer bulk heterojunction sub-cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Sung Heum; Shin, Insoo; Kim, Kwang Ho; Street, Robert; Roy, Anshuman; Heeger, Alan J

    2015-01-14

    A tandem solar cell based on a combination of an amorphous silicon (a-Si) and polymer solar cell (PSC) is demonstrated. As these tandem devices can be readily fabricated by low-cost methods, they require only a minor increase in the total manufacturing cost. Therefore, a combination of a-Si and PSC provides a compelling solution to reduce the cost of electricity produced by photovoltaics.

  17. High electric field effects on the thermal generation in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Ilie, A.; Equer, B.

    1997-07-01

    The authors have studied the electric field dependence of the electron-hole thermal generation process in hydrogenated amorphous silicon. A model was developed which takes into account the Poole-Frenkel effect and the thermally assisted tunneling. In order to explain the experimental results it was necessary to consider a strong electron-lattice interaction describing the carrier tunneling mechanism. Deep defects relaxation is also discussed.

  18. Electronic transport in mixed-phase hydrogenated amorphous/nanocrystalline silicon thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wienkes, Lee Raymond

    Interest in mixed-phase silicon thin film materials, composed of an amorphous semiconductor matrix in which nanocrystalline inclusions are embedded, stems in part from potential technological applications, including photovoltaic and thin film transistor technologies. Conventional mixed-phase silicon films are produced in a single plasma reactor, where the conditions of the plasma must be precisely tuned, limiting the ability to adjust the film and nanoparticle parameters independently. The films presented in this thesis are deposited using a novel dual-plasma co-deposition approach in which the nanoparticles are produced separately in an upstream reactor and then injected into a secondary reactor where an amorphous silicon film is being grown. The degree of crystallinity and grain sizes of the films are evaluated using Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction respectively. I describe detailed electronic measurements which reveal three distinct conduction mechanisms in n-type doped mixed-phase amorphous/nanocrystalline silicon thin films over a range of nanocrystallite concentrations and temperatures, covering the transition from fully amorphous to ~30% nanocrystalline. As the temperature is varied from 470 to 10 K, we observe activated conduction, multiphonon hopping (MPH) and Mott variable range hopping (VRH) as the nanocrystal content is increased. The transition from MPH to Mott-VRH hopping around 100K is ascribed to the freeze out of the phonon modes. A conduction model involving the parallel contributions of these three distinct conduction mechanisms is shown to describe both the conductivity and the reduced activation energy data to a high accuracy. Additional support is provided by measurements of thermal equilibration effects and noise spectroscopy, both done above room temperature (>300 K). This thesis provides a clear link between measurement and theory in these complex materials.

  19. Method of controllong the deposition of hydrogenated amorphous silicon and apparatus therefor

    DOEpatents

    Hanak, Joseph J.

    1985-06-25

    An improved method and apparatus for the controlled deposition of a layer of hydrogenated amorphous silicon on a substrate. Means is provided for the illumination of the coated surface of the substrate and measurement of the resulting photovoltage at the outermost layer of the coating. Means is further provided for admixing amounts of p type and n type dopants to the reactant gas in response to the measured photovoltage to achieve a desired level and type of doping of the deposited layer.

  20. Interfacial modification of amorphous substrates for microcrystalline silicon growth with in situ hydrogen plasma pretreatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Young-Bae; Rhee, Shi-Woo; Li, Xiaodong

    2005-10-01

    Microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) films have been deposited onto hydrogenated and amorphous Si-rich silicon nitride and thermal oxide substrates with silane (SiH4)-hydrogen (H2) in remote plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (RPECVD) at 250 °C, and these films have been investigated. It is found that in situ hydrogen plasma pretreatment of the amorphous substrates prior to μc-Si:H deposition is effective in reducing the interfacial amorphous transition region. It is believed that this hydrogen plasma pretreatment gives adsorption and nucleation sites by breaking weak Si-N and Si-Si bonds and also removes native Si-O x and hydrocarbon impurities. In the case of SiNx:H surface, surface roughening from atomic hydrogen etching and surface cleaning effects are greater than those for stable thermal oxide. Surface crystallization at the initial stage of the growth can be obtained on amorphous substrate at low temperature without an a-Si transition layer.

  1. CW laser induced crystallization of thin amorphous silicon films deposited by EBE and PECVD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Said-Bacar, Z.; Prathap, P.; Cayron, C.; Mermet, F.; Leroy, Y.; Antoni, F.; Slaoui, A.; Fogarassy, E.

    2012-09-01

    This work presents the Continuous Wave (CW) laser crystallization of thin amorphous silicon (a-Si) films deposited by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) and by Electron Beam Evaporation (EBE) on low cost glass substrate. The films are characterized by Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis (ERDA) and by Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to evaluate the hydrogen content. Analysis shows that the PECVD films contain a high hydrogen concentration (˜10 at.%) while the EBE films are almost hydrogen-free. It is found that the hydrogen is in a bonding configuration with the a-Si network and in a free form, requiring a long thermal annealing for exodiffusion before the laser treatment to avoid explosive effusion. The CW laser crystallization process of the amorphous silicon films was operated in liquid phase regime. We show by Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) that polysilicon films with large grains can be obtained with EBE as well as for the PECVD amorphous silicon provided that for the latest the hydrogen content is lower than 2 at.%.

  2. Application of amorphous carbon based materials as antireflective coatings on crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva, D. S.; Côrtes, A. D. S.; Oliveira, M. H.; Motta, E. F.; Viana, G. A.; Mei, P. R.; Marques, F. C.

    2011-08-01

    We report on the investigation of the potential application of different forms of amorphous carbon (a-C and a-C:H) as an antireflective coating for crystalline silicon solar cells. Polymeric-like carbon (PLC) and hydrogenated diamond-like carbon films were deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) was deposited by the filtered cathodic vacuum arc technique. Those three different amorphous carbon structures were individually applied as single antireflective coatings on conventional (polished and texturized) p-n junction crystalline silicon solar cells. Due to their optical properties, good results were also obtained for double-layer antireflective coatings based on PLC or ta-C films combined with different materials. The results are compared with a conventional tin dioxide (SnO2) single-layer antireflective coating and zinc sulfide/magnesium fluoride (ZnS/MgF2) double-layer antireflective coatings. An increase of 23.7% in the short-circuit current density, Jsc, was obtained using PLC as an antireflective coating and 31.7% was achieved using a double-layer of PLC with a layer of magnesium fluoride (MgF2). An additional increase of 10.8% was obtained in texturized silicon, representing a total increase (texturization + double-layer) of about 40% in the short-circuit current density. The potential use of these materials are critically addressed considering their refractive index, optical bandgap, absorption coefficient, hardness, chemical inertness, and mechanical stability.

  3. Amorphous silicon thin films: The ultimate lightweight space solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vendura, G. J., Jr.; Kruer, M. A.; Schurig, H. H.; Bianchi, M. A.; Roth, J. A.

    1994-01-01

    Progress is reported with respect to the development of thin film amorphous (alpha-Si) terrestrial solar cells for space applications. Such devices promise to result in very lightweight, low cost, flexible arrays with superior end of life (EOL) performance. Each alpha-Si cell consists of a tandem arrangement of three very thin p-i-n junctions vapor deposited between film electrodes. The thickness of this entire stack is approximately 2.0 microns, resulting in a device of negligible weight, but one that must be mechanically supported for handling and fabrication into arrays. The stack is therefore presently deposited onto a large area (12 by 13 in), rigid, glass superstrate, 40 mil thick, and preliminary space qualification testing of modules so configured is underway. At the same time, a more advanced version is under development in which the thin film stack is transferred from the glass onto a thin (2.0 mil) polymer substrate to create large arrays that are truly flexible and significantly lighter than either the glassed alpha-Si version or present conventional crystalline technologies. In this paper the key processes for such effective transfer are described. In addition, both glassed (rigid) and unglassed (flexible) alpha-Si cells are studied when integrated with various advanced structures to form lightweight systems. EOL predictions are generated for the case of a 1000 W array in a standard, 10 year geosynchronous (GEO) orbit. Specific powers (W/kg), power densities (W/sq m) and total array costs ($/sq ft) are compared.

  4. Amorphous silicon thin films: The ultimate lightweight space solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Vendura, G.J. Jr.; Kruer, M.A.; Schurig, H.H.; Bianchi, M.A.; Roth, J.A.

    1994-09-01

    Progress is reported with respect to the development of thin film amorphous (alpha-Si) terrestrial solar cells for space applications. Such devices promise to result in very lightweight, low cost, flexible arrays with superior end of life (EOL) performance. Each alpha-Si cell consists of a tandem arrangement of three very thin p-i-n junctions vapor deposited between film electrodes. The thickness of this entire stack is approximately 2.0 microns, resulting in a device of negligible weight, but one that must be mechanically supported for handling and fabrication into arrays. The stack is therefore presently deposited onto a large area (12 by 13 in), rigid, glass superstrate, 40 mil thick, and preliminary space qualification testing of modules so configured is underway. At the same time, a more advanced version is under development in which the thin film stack is transferred from the glass onto a thin (2.0 mil) polymer substrate to create large arrays that are truly flexible and significantly lighter than either the glassed alpha-Si version or present conventional crystalline technologies. In this paper the key processes for such effective transfer are described. In addition, both glassed (rigid) and unglassed (flexible) alpha-Si cells are studied when integrated with various advanced structures to form lightweight systems. EOL predictions are generated for the case of a 1000 W array in a standard, 10 year geosynchronous (GEO) orbit. Specific powers (W/kg), power densities (W/sq m) and total array costs ($/sq ft) are compared.

  5. Effect of Ion Bombardment on the Growth and Properties of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon-Germanium Alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, Jérôme; Takeda, Yoshihiko; Hirano, Naoto; Matsuura, Hideharu; Matsuda, Akihisa

    1989-01-01

    We report a systematic investigation of the effect of ion bombardment during the growth of amorphous silicon-germanium alloy films from silane and germane rf-glow discharge. Independent control of the plasma and the ion flux and energy is obtained by using a triode configuration. The ion contribution to the total deposition rate can reach 20% on negatively biased substrates. Although the Si and Ge composition of the film does not depend on the ion flux and energy, the optical, structural and electronic properties are drastically modified at low deposition temperatures when the maximum ion energy increases up to 50 eV, and remain constant above 50 eV. For a Ge atomic concentration of 37% and a temperature of 135°C, the optical gap decreases from 1.67 to 1.45 eV. This is correlated with a modification of hydrogen bonding configurations. Silicon dihydride sites disappear and preferential attachment of hydrogen to silicon is reduced in favour of germanium. Moreover the photoconductivity increases which shows that ion bombardment is a key parameter to optimize the quality of low band gap amorphous silicon-germanium alloys.

  6. Bandgap and Carrier Transport Engineering of Quantum Confined Mixed Phase Nanocrystalline/Amorphous Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Guan, Tianyuan; Klafehn, Grant; Kendrick, Chito; Theingi, San; Airuoyo, Idemudia; Lusk, Mark T.; Stradins, Paul; Taylor, Craig; Collins, Reuben T.

    2016-11-21

    Mixed phase nanocrystalline/amorphous-silicon (nc/a-Si:H) thin films with band-gap higher than bulk silicon are prepared by depositing silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs), prepared in a separate deposition zone, and hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), simultaneously. Since the two deposition phases are well decoupled, optimized parameters for each component can apply to the growth process. Photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) shows that the embedded SiNPs are small enough to exhibit quantum confinement effects. The low temperature PL measurements on the mixed phase reveal a dominant emission feature, which is associated with SiNPs surrounded by a-Si:H. In addition, we compare time dependent low temperature PL measurements for both a-Si:H and mixed phase material under intensive laser exposure for various times up to two hours. The PL intensity of a-Si:H with embedded SiNPs degrades much less than that of pure a-Si:H. We propose this improvement of photostability occurs because carriers generated in the a-Si:H matrix quickly transfer into SiNPs and recombine there instead of recombining in a-Si:H and creating defect states (Staebler-Wronski Effect).

  7. Infrared and Magnetic Studies of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon and Germanium.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawlik, Jonathan Randall

    In pure, sputtered a-Si or a-Ge the large defect density resulting from dangling bonds pins the Fermi level (E(,f)) and generally dominates the electronic properties of the material. Our group at Harvard theorized that H added to the sputtering plasma during film growth might be incorporated into the amorphous network to compensate theses dangling bonds: (1) IR studies of local Ge-H vibrational modes confirmed the presence of bonded H in the a-network and quantified its concentration, (2) A technique for high accuracy spin density (N(,s)) measurements was developed and used to monitor the dramatic defect density reduction with H incorporation, (3) The N(,s) reduction with increasing H incorporation was correlated with the integrated intensity increase of one IR feature, allowing a model of H incorporation kinetics to be developed and, (4) Plausible H incorporation configurations were identified. Sputtered a-S:H and a -Ge:H can be doped with significant E(,f) movement and are usable for device fabrication. The magnetic properties observed in the process of performing N(,s) measurements uncovered significant new information: (1) The EPR linewidth ((DELTA)H(,pp)) versus N(,s) variation at low temperatures indicated the presence of strong exchange interaction narrowing and a clustering of spins, (2) From the presence of a strong exchange interaction a spin ordering was predicted and an antiferromagnetic ordering was experimentally observed, (3) The (DELTA)H(,pp) temperature dependence was shown to be a result of lifetime broadening via carrier hopping near E(,f); using theoretical work of the Marburg group hopping times and the width of the hopping distribution could be directly estimated, (4) A photo-EPR effect was discovered and its spectral dependence provided a new type of spectroscopy for gap states and, (5) Photo-EPR effects and g-value shifts upon doping indicated the presence of another defect with properties different from those of the dangling bond. Thus

  8. Integration of epitaxially-grown InGaAs/GaAs quantum dot lasers with hydrogenated amorphous silicon waveguides on silicon.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jun; Bhattacharya, Pallab

    2008-03-31

    The monolithic integration of epitaxially-grown InGaAs/GaAs self-organized quantum dot lasers with hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a:Si-H) waveguides on silicon substrates is demonstrated. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon waveguides, formed by plasma-enhanced-chemical-vapor deposition (PECVD), exhibit a propagation loss of approximately 10 dB/cm at a wavelength of 1.05 microm. The laser-waveguide coupling, with coupling coefficient of 22%, is achieved through a 3.2 microm-width groove etched by focused-ion-beam (FIB) milling which creates high-quality etched GaAs facets.

  9. Percolation network in resistive switching devices with the structure of silver/amorphous silicon/p-type silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yanhong; Gao, Ping; Bi, Kaifeng; Peng, Wei; Jiang, Xuening; Xu, Hongxia

    2014-01-27

    Conducting pathway of percolation network was identified in resistive switching devices (RSDs) with the structure of silver/amorphous silicon/p-type silicon (Ag/a-Si/p-Si) based on its gradual RESET-process and the stochastic complex impedance spectroscopy characteristics (CIS). The formation of the percolation network is attributed to amounts of nanocrystalline Si particles as well as defect sites embedded in a-Si layer, in which the defect sites supply positions for Ag ions to nucleate and grow. The similar percolation network has been only observed in Ag-Ge-Se based RSD before. This report provides a better understanding for electric properties of RSD based on the percolation network.

  10. Study of stacked-emitter layer for high efficiency amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Youngseok; Kim, Heewon; Iftiquar, S. M.; Kim, Sunbo; Kim, Sangho; Ahn, Shihyun; Lee, Youn-Jung; Dao, Vinh Ai; Yi, Junsin

    2014-12-01

    A modified emitter, of stacked two layer structure, was investigated for high-efficiency amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction (HJ) solar cells. Surface area of the cells was 181.5 cm2. The emitter was designed to achieve a high open circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor (FF). When doping of the emitter layer was increased, it was observed that the silicon dihydride related structural defects within the films increased, and the Voc of the HJ cell decreased. On the other hand, while the doping concentration of the emitter was reduced the FF of the cell reduced. Therefore, a combination of a high conductivity and low defects of a single emitter layer appears difficult to obtain, yet becomes necessary to improve the cell performance. So, we investigated a stacked-emitter with low-doped/high-doped double layer structure. A low-doped emitter with reduced defect density was deposited over the intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon passivation layer, while the high-doped emitter with high conductivity was deposited over the low-doped emitter. The effects of doping and defect density of the emitter, on the device performance, were elucidated by using computer simulation and an optimized device structure was formulated. The simulation was performed with the help of Automat for the Simulation of Heterostructures simulation software. Finally, based on the simulation results, amorphous/crystalline heterojunction silicon solar cells were optimized by reducing density of defect states in the stacked-emitter structure and we obtained 725 mV, 77.41%, and 19.0% as the open-circuit voltage, fill factor, and photo-voltaic conversion efficiency of the device, respectively.

  11. On the thermodynamically stable amorphous phase of polymer-derived silicon oxycarbide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Liping; Raj, Rishi

    2015-09-01

    A model for the thermodynamic stability of amorphous silicon oxycarbide (SiCO) is presented. It builds upon the reasonably accepted model of SiCO which is conceived as a nanodomain network of graphene. The domains are expected to be filled with SiO2 molecules, while the interface with graphene is visualized to contain mixed bonds described as Si bonded to C as well as to O atoms. Normally these SiCO compositions would be expected to crystallize. Instead, calorimetric measurements have shown that the amorphous phase is thermodynamically stable. In this article we employ first-principles calculations to estimate how the interfacial energy of the graphene networks is favorably influenced by having mixed bonds attached to them. We analyze the ways in which this reduction in interfacial energy can stabilize the amorphous phase. The approach highlights how density functional theory computations can be combined with the classical analysis of phase transformations to explain the behavior of a complex material. In addition we discover a two-dimensional lattice structure, with the composition Si2C4O3 that is constructed from a single layer of graphene congruent with silicon and oxygen bonds on either side.

  12. Reaction of amorphous Ni-W and Ni-N-W films with substrate silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, M.F.; Suni, I.; Nicolet, M.; Sands, T.

    1984-11-15

    Amorphous films of Ni-W and Ni-N-W were deposited on single-crystal silicon with discharge gases of Ar or Ar+N/sub 2/ by rf cosputtering of Ni and W. The reaction of these Ni-W and Ni-N-W films with the Si substrate were studied in the temperature range of 450--750 /sup 0/C by a combination of backscattering spectrometry, x-ray diffraction, cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, and resistivity measurements. Films with composition Ni/sub 36/W/sub 64/ are stable below 500 /sup 0/C. NiSi and NiSi/sub 2/ form at 500 /sup 0/C, and WSi/sub 2/ forms rapidly in the temperature range of 625--650 /sup 0/C. The nickel silicide forms adjacent to and within the silicon, while the outer layer becomes a mixture of WSi/sub 2/ and NiSi/sub 2/. The morphologies of the reacted layers are revealed by cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. The crystallization temperature of amorphous Ni/sub 36/W/sub 64/ films on SiO/sub 2/ is near 650 /sup 0/C also. Adding nitrogen to form amorphous Ni/sub 30/N/sub 21/W/sub 49/ films lowers the crystallization temperature, but raises the reaction temperature with Si to 750 /sup 0/C.

  13. Programmable SERS active substrates for chemical and biosensing applications using amorphous/crystalline hybrid silicon nanomaterial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, Jeffery Alexander; Venkatakrishnan, Krishnan; Tan, Bo

    2016-01-01

    We present the creation of a unique nanostructured amorphous/crystalline hybrid silicon material that exhibits surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activity. This nanomaterial is an interconnected network of amorphous/crystalline nanospheroids which form a nanoweb structure; to our knowledge this material has not been previously observed nor has it been applied for use as a SERS sensing material. This material is formed using a femtosecond synthesis technique which facilitates a laser plume ion condensation formation mechanism. By fine-tuning the laser plume temperature and ion interaction mechanisms within the plume, we are able to precisely program the relative proportion of crystalline Si to amorphous Si content in the nanospheroids as well as the size distribution of individual nanospheroids and the size of Raman hotspot nanogaps. With the use of Rhodamine 6G (R6G) and Crystal Violet (CV) chemical dyes, we have been able to observe a maximum enhancement factor of 5.38 × 106 and 3.72 × 106 respectively, for the hybrid nanomaterial compared to a bulk Si wafer substrate. With the creation of a silicon-based nanomaterial capable of SERS detection of analytes, this work demonstrates a redefinition of the role of nanostructured Si from an inactive to SERS active role in nano-Raman sensing applications.

  14. Programmable SERS active substrates for chemical and biosensing applications using amorphous/crystalline hybrid silicon nanomaterial

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Jeffery Alexander; Venkatakrishnan, Krishnan; Tan, Bo

    2016-01-01

    We present the creation of a unique nanostructured amorphous/crystalline hybrid silicon material that exhibits surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activity. This nanomaterial is an interconnected network of amorphous/crystalline nanospheroids which form a nanoweb structure; to our knowledge this material has not been previously observed nor has it been applied for use as a SERS sensing material. This material is formed using a femtosecond synthesis technique which facilitates a laser plume ion condensation formation mechanism. By fine-tuning the laser plume temperature and ion interaction mechanisms within the plume, we are able to precisely program the relative proportion of crystalline Si to amorphous Si content in the nanospheroids as well as the size distribution of individual nanospheroids and the size of Raman hotspot nanogaps. With the use of Rhodamine 6G (R6G) and Crystal Violet (CV) chemical dyes, we have been able to observe a maximum enhancement factor of 5.38 × 106 and 3.72 × 106 respectively, for the hybrid nanomaterial compared to a bulk Si wafer substrate. With the creation of a silicon-based nanomaterial capable of SERS detection of analytes, this work demonstrates a redefinition of the role of nanostructured Si from an inactive to SERS active role in nano-Raman sensing applications. PMID:26785682

  15. On the thermodynamically stable amorphous phase of polymer-derived silicon oxycarbide

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Liping; Raj, Rishi

    2015-01-01

    A model for the thermodynamic stability of amorphous silicon oxycarbide (SiCO) is presented. It builds upon the reasonably accepted model of SiCO which is conceived as a nanodomain network of graphene. The domains are expected to be filled with SiO2 molecules, while the interface with graphene is visualized to contain mixed bonds described as Si bonded to C as well as to O atoms. Normally these SiCO compositions would be expected to crystallize. Instead, calorimetric measurements have shown that the amorphous phase is thermodynamically stable. In this article we employ first-principles calculations to estimate how the interfacial energy of the graphene networks is favorably influenced by having mixed bonds attached to them. We analyze the ways in which this reduction in interfacial energy can stabilize the amorphous phase. The approach highlights how density functional theory computations can be combined with the classical analysis of phase transformations to explain the behavior of a complex material. In addition we discover a two-dimensional lattice structure, with the composition Si2C4O3 that is constructed from a single layer of graphene congruent with silicon and oxygen bonds on either side. PMID:26419962

  16. Absorption enhancement in amorphous silicon thin films via plasmonic resonances in nickel silicide nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hachtel, Jordan; Shen, Xiao; Pantelides, Sokrates; Sachan, Ritesh; Gonzalez, Carlos; Dyck, Ondrej; Fu, Shaofang; Kalnayaraman, Ramki; Rack, Phillip; Duscher, Gerd

    2013-03-01

    Silicon is a near ideal material for photovoltaics due to its low cost, abundance, and well documented optical properties. The sole detriment of Si in photovoltaics is poor absorption in the infrared. Nanoparticle surface plasmon resonances are predicted to increase absorption by scattering to angles greater than the critical angle for total internal reflection (16° for a Si/air interface), trapping the light in the film. Experiments confirm that nickel silicide nanoparticles embedded in amorphous silicon increases absorption significantly in the infrared. However, it remains to be seen if electron-hole pair generation is increased in the solar cell, or whether the light is absorbed by the nanoparticles themselves. The nature of the absorption is explored by a study of the surface plasmon resonances through electron energy loss spectrometry and scanning transmission electron microscopy experiments, as well as first principles density functional theory calculations. Initial experimental results do not show strong plasmon resonances on the nanoparticle surfaces. Calculations of the optical properties of the nickel silicide particles in amorphous silicon are performed to understand why this resonance is suppressed. Work supported by NSF EPS 1004083 (TN-SCORE).

  17. Bimetallic non-alloyed NPs for improving the broadband optical absorption of thin amorphous silicon substrates

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    We propose the use of bimetallic non-alloyed nanoparticles (BNNPs) to improve the broadband optical absorption of thin amorphous silicon substrates. Isolated bimetallic NPs with uniform size distribution on glass and silicon are obtained by depositing a 10-nm Au film and annealing it at 600°C; this is followed by an 8-nm Ag film annealed at 400°C. We experimentally demonstrate that the deposition of gold (Au)-silver (Ag) bimetallic non-alloyed NPs (BNNPs) on a thin amorphous silicon (a-Si) film increases the film's average absorption and forward scattering over a broad spectrum, thus significantly reducing its total reflection performance. Experimental results show that Au-Ag BNNPs fabricated on a glass substrate exhibit resonant peaks at 437 and 540 nm and a 14-fold increase in average forward scattering over the wavelength range of 300 to 1,100 nm in comparison with bare glass. When deposited on a 100-nm-thin a-Si film, Au-Ag BNNPs increase the average absorption and forward scattering by 19.6% and 95.9% compared to those values for Au NPs on thin a-Si and plain a-Si without MNPs, respectively, over the 300- to 1,100-nm range. PMID:24725390

  18. Computational Evaluation of Amorphous Carbon Coating for Durable Silicon Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jeongwoon; Ihm, Jisoon; Lee, Kwang-Ryeol; Kim, Seungchul

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the structural, mechanical, and electronic properties of graphite-like amorphous carbon coating on bulky silicon to examine whether it can improve the durability of the silicon anodes of lithium-ion batteries using molecular dynamics simulations and ab-initio electronic structure calculations. Structural models of carbon coating are constructed using molecular dynamics simulations of atomic carbon deposition with low incident energies (1–16 eV). As the incident energy decreases, the ratio of sp2 carbons increases, that of sp3 decreases, and the carbon films become more porous. The films prepared with very low incident energy contain lithium-ion conducting channels. Also, those films are electrically conductive to supplement the poor conductivity of silicon and can restore their structure after large deformation to accommodate the volume change during the operations. As a result of this study, we suggest that graphite-like porous carbon coating on silicon will extend the lifetime of the silicon anodes of lithium-ion batteries.

  19. Crystallization of amorphous silicon by self-propagation of nanoengineered thermites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hossain, Maruf; Subramanian, Senthil; Bhattacharya, Shantanu; Gao, Yuanfang; Apperson, Steve; Shende, Rajesh; Guha, Suchi; Arif, Mohammad; Bai, Mengjun; Gangopadhyay, Keshab; Gangopadhyay, Shubhra

    2007-03-01

    Crystallization of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film occurred by the self-propagation of copper oxide/aluminum thermite nanocomposites. Amorphous Si films were prepared on glass at a temperature of 250°C by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The platinum heater was patterned on the edge of the substrate and the CuO /Al nanoengineered thermite was spin coated on the substrate that connects the heater and the a-Si film. A voltage source was used to ignite the thermites followed by a piranha solution (4:1 of H2SO4:H2O2) etch for the removal of residual products of thermite reaction. Raman spectroscopy was used to confirm the crystallization of a-Si.

  20. Can the crystallization rate be independent from the crystallization enthalpy? The case of amorphous silicon.

    PubMed

    Kail, F; Molera, J; Farjas, J; Roura, P; Secouard, C; Roca i Cabarrocas, P

    2012-03-07

    The crystallization enthalpy measured in a large series of amorphous silicon (a-Si) materials varies within a factor of 2 from sample to sample (Kail et al 2011 Phys. Status Solidi RRL 5 361). According to the classical theory of nucleation, this variation should produce large differences in the crystallization kinetics leading to crystallization temperatures and activation energies exceeding 550 °C and 1.7 eV, respectively, the 'standard' values measured for a-Si obtained by self-implantation. In contrast, the observed crystallization kinetics is very similar for all the samples studied and has no correlation with the crystallization enthalpy. This discrepancy has led us to propose that crystallization in a-Si begins in microscopic domains that are almost identical in all samples, independently of their crystallization enthalpy. Probably the existence of microscopic inhomogeneities also plays a crucial role in the crystallization kinetics of other amorphous materials and glasses.

  1. Consequences of zero-point motion to the radial distribution function of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, Joseph L.; Bernstein, Noam; Papaconstantopoulos, Dimitris A.; Mehl, Michael J.

    2004-11-01

    While there have been many studies based on models of amorphous silicon, there have been surprisingly few (perhaps only one) that have seriously addressed the radial distribution function at low temperature. Our work is based in part on the so-called NRL tight binding method using parameters for silicon determined by Bernstein et al. As we have recently shown in the case of 216-atom models, upon including zero-point motion good agreement is obtained with very accurate low temperature x-ray diffraction measurements by Laaziri et al of the radial distribution function, although, as also found by Herrero who used the Stillinger-Weber potential, a slight asymmetry of the first peak in the RDF is predicted and this asymmetry has not been observed experimentally. Upon use of an estimate of zero-point broadening from our previous work we show here that 1000-atom models lead to good agreement with experiment for the RDF. Perhaps fortuitously, we obtain models that agree with the experimentally determined second peak in the RDF for both annealed and unannealed samples: our tight binding relaxed models based on topologies derived from the Wooten-Winer-Weaire method and the Barkema-Mousseau method yield unannealed-sample results, whereas our tight binding relaxed model based on an MD quench of the liquid using the semi-empirical interatomic potential, EDIP, of Kaxiras and coworkers yield the annealed-sample results. Finally, the significant effect of zero-point motion on the first peak in the radial distribution that we obtain in the case of amorphous silicon could also have implications for other amorphous materials, e.g. SiO2.

  2. Tight binding calculations of vibrational and thermal properties of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehl, Michael; Feldman, Joseph; Papaconstantopoulos, Dimitris; Bernstein, Noam

    2006-03-01

    By displacing atoms by different amounts and computing atomic forces within the NRL tight binding method we obtain all second order (harmonic) and some third order (anharmonic) coupling constants of a 1000 atom TB-relaxed Wooten CRN model of amorphous silicon. The harmonic force constant results allow us to study various properties including vibrational density of states, dynamic structure factors, specific heat and thermal conductivity within Kubo theory. We shall present results of these applications and compare to experiment and previous work based on the Stillinger Weber potential.

  3. Photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic characteristics of amorphous-silicon-based tandem cells as photocathodes for water splitting.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Jürgen; Kaiser, Bernhard; Jaegermann, Wolfram; Urbain, Félix; Becker, Jan-Philipp; Smirnov, Vladimir; Finger, Friedhelm

    2014-12-15

    In this study amorphous silicon tandem solar cells are successfully utilized as photoelectrodes in a photoelectrochemical cell for water electrolysis. The tandem cells are modified with various amounts of platinum and are combined with a ruthenium oxide counter electrode. In a two-electrode arrangement this system is capable of splitting water without external bias with a short-circuit current of 4.50 mA cm(-2). On the assumption that no faradaic losses occur, a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of 5.54% is achieved. In order to identify the relevant loss processes, additional three-electrode measurements were performed for each involved half-cell.

  4. Self-aligned imprint lithography for top-gate amorphous silicon thin-film transistor fabrication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lausecker, E.; Huang, Y.; Fromherz, T.; Sturm, J. C.; Wagner, S.

    2010-06-01

    We developed self-aligned imprint lithography (SAIL) for top-gate amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin-film transistors (TFTs). Our SAIL process enables a device pattern definition in a single imprint step that uses a three-level mold. The various levels of the mold are defined by a stepwise opening of a chromium hardmask and subsequent dry-etching. For TFT fabrication we imprint, and consecutively etch the imprint resist levels and device layers. The imprinted top-gate a-Si TFTs have nickel silicide source/drain self-aligned to the gate with mobilities of ˜0.4 cm2/V s.

  5. Measurement of the specific heat and determination of the thermodynamic functions of relaxed amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roura, P.; Taïr, F.; Farjas, J.; Roca i Cabarrocas, P.

    2013-05-01

    The specific heat, cp, of two amorphous silicon (a-Si) samples has been measured by differential scanning calorimetry in the 100-900 K temperature range. When the hydrogen content is reduced by thermal annealing, cp approaches the value of crystalline Si (c-Si). Within experimental accuracy, we conclude that cp of relaxed pure a-Si coincides with that of c-Si. This result is used to determine the enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs free energy of defect-free relaxed a-Si. Finally, the contribution of structural defects on these quantities is calculated and the melting point of several states of a-Si is predicted.

  6. Thin metal layer as transparent electrode in n-i-p amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theuring, Martin; Geissendörfer, Stefan; Vehse, Martin; von Maydell, Karsten; Agert, Carsten

    2014-07-01

    In this paper, transparent electrodes, based on a thin silver film and a capping layer, are investigated. Low deposition temperature, flexibility and low material costs are the advantages of this type of electrode. Their applicability in structured n-i-p amorphous silicon solar cells is demonstrated in simulation and experiment. The influence of the individual layer thicknesses on the solar cell performance is discussed and approaches for further improvements are given. For the silver film/capping layer electrode, a higher solar cell efficiency could be achieved compared to a reference ZnO:Al front contact.

  7. High-stability transparent amorphous oxide TFT with a silicon-doped back-channel layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyoung-Rae; Park, Jea-Gun

    2014-10-01

    We significantly reduced various electrical instabilities of amorphous indium gallium zinc oxide thin-film transistors (TFTs) by using the co-deposition of silicon on an a-IGZO back channel. This process showed improved stability of the threshold voltage ( V th ) under high temperature and humidity and negative gate-bias illumination stress (NBIS) without any reduction of IDS. The enhanced stability was achieved with silicon, which has higher metal-oxide bonding strengths than gallium does. Additionally, SiO X distributed on the a-IGZO surface reduced the adsorption and the desorption of H2O and O2. This process is applicable to the TFT manufacturing process with a variable sputtering target.

  8. Identification of infrared absorption peaks of amorphous silicon-carbon alloy by thermal annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Wei-Liang; Tsai, Hsiung-Kuang; Lee, Si-Chen; Sah, Wen-Jyh; Tzeng, Wen-Jer

    1987-12-01

    Amorphous silicon-carbon hydrogen alloy was prepared by radio frequency glow discharge decomposition of a silane-methane mixture. The infrared absorption spectra were measured at various stages of thermal annealing. By observing the change of relative intensities between these peaks the hydrogen bonding responsible for the absorption peaks could be assigned more accurately, for example, the stretching mode of monohydride Si-H is determined by its local environment, which supports H. Wagner's and W. Beyer's results [Solid State Commun. 48, 585 (1983)] but is inconsistent with the commonly believed view. It is also found that a significant fraction of carbon atoms are introduced into the film in -CH3 configuration which forms a local void and enhances the formation of polysilane chain and dangling bond defects. Only after high-temperature annealing are the hydrogen atoms driven out, and Si and C start to form a better silicon carbide network.

  9. Effect of antireflection coating on the crystallization of amorphous silicon films by flash lamp annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonoda, Yuki; Ohdaira, Keisuke

    2017-04-01

    We succeed in decreasing the fluence of a flash-lamp pulse required for the crystallization of electron-beam (EB)-evaporated amorphous silicon (a-Si) films using silicon nitride (SiN x ) antireflection films. The antireflection effect of SiN x is confirmed not only when SiN x is placed on the surface of a-Si or flash lamp annealing (FLA) is performed from the film side, but also when SiN x is inserted between glass and a-Si and a flash pulse is supplied from the glass side. We also quantitatively confirm, by calculating flash-lamp pulse energies actually reaching a-Si films using reflectance spectra, that the reduction in the fluence of a flash-lamp pulse for the crystallization of a-Si films is due to the antireflection effect of SiN x .

  10. Phase transitions from semiconductive amorphous to conductive polycrystalline in indium silicon oxide thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitoma, Nobuhiko; Da, Bo; Yoshikawa, Hideki; Nabatame, Toshihide; Takahashi, Makoto; Ito, Kazuhiro; Kizu, Takio; Fujiwara, Akihiko; Tsukagoshi, Kazuhito

    2016-11-01

    The enhancement in electrical conductivity and optical transparency induced by a phase transition from amorphous to polycrystalline in lightly silicon-doped indium oxide (InSiO) thin films is studied. The phase transition caused by simple thermal annealing transforms the InSiO thin films from semiconductors to conductors. Silicon atoms form SiO4 tetrahedra in InSiO, which enhances the overlap of In 5s orbitals as a result of the distortion of InO6 octahedral networks. Desorption of weakly bonded oxygen releases electrons from deep subgap states and enhances the electrical conductivity and optical transparency of the films. Optical absorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements reveal that the phase transition causes a Fermi energy shift of ˜0.2 eV.

  11. Two-dimensional modeling of the back amorphous-crystalline silicon heterojunction (BACH) photovoltaic device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chowdhury, Zahidur R.; Chutinan, Alongkarn; Gougam, Adel B.; Kherani, Nazir P.; Zukotynski, Stefan

    2010-06-01

    Back Amorphous-Crystalline Silicon Heterojunction (BACH)1 solar cell can be fabricated using low temperature processes while integrating high efficiency features of heterojunction silicon solar cells and back-contact homojunction solar cells. This article presents a two-dimensional modeling study of the BACH cell concept. A parametric study of the BACH cell has been carried out using Sentaurus after benchmarking the software. A detailed model describing the optical generation is defined. Solar cell efficiency of 24.4% is obtained for AM 1.5 global spectrum with VOC of greater than 720 mV and JSC exceeding 40 mA/cm2, considering realistic surface passivation quality and other dominant recombination processes.

  12. Stopping power of rare gases in amorphous silicon for MeV helium ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, F.; Komaki, K.; Optuka, A.; Kawatsura, K.; Ozawa, K.; Shimada, T.; Katayama, Y.

    1983-01-01

    The stopping cross sections of argon, krypton and xenon inside amorphous silicon for alpha particle, in which the concentrations of argon, krypton and xenon were 8,7, and 4 at %, respectively, were measured by the Rutherford backscattering method in the incident energy range from 1.0 to 2.6 MeV for argon and 1.0 to 1.6 MeV for krypton and xenon. If the stopping cross section of silicon given by Ziegler is used and Bragg's rule is assumed, the obtained values of each rare gas were about 30% lower than those for gaseous state given by Ziegler in the energy region near to 1 MeV.

  13. Recombination and thin film properties of silicon nitride and amorphous silicon passivated c-Si following ammonia plasma exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Yimao; Thomson, Andrew F.; Cuevas, Andres; McIntosh, Keith R.

    2015-01-26

    Recombination at silicon nitride (SiN{sub x}) and amorphous silicon (a-Si) passivated crystalline silicon (c-Si) surfaces is shown to increase significantly following an ammonia (NH{sub 3}) plasma exposure at room temperature. The effect of plasma exposure on chemical structure, refractive index, permittivity, and electronic properties of the thin films is also investigated. It is found that the NH{sub 3} plasma exposure causes (i) an increase in the density of Si≡N{sub 3} groups in both SiN{sub x} and a-Si films, (ii) a reduction in refractive index and permittivity, (iii) an increase in the density of defects at the SiN{sub x}/c-Si interface, and (iv) a reduction in the density of positive charge in SiN{sub x}. The changes in recombination and thin film properties are likely due to an insertion of N–H radicals into the bulk of SiN{sub x} or a-Si. It is therefore important for device performance to minimize NH{sub 3} plasma exposure of SiN{sub x} or a-Si passivating films during subsequent fabrication steps.

  14. Method for sputtering a PIN microcrystalline/amorphous silicon semiconductor device with the P and N-layers sputtered from boron and phosphorous heavily doped targets

    DOEpatents

    Moustakas, Theodore D.; Maruska, H. Paul

    1985-04-02

    A silicon PIN microcrystalline/amorphous silicon semiconductor device is constructed by the sputtering of N, and P layers of silicon from silicon doped targets and the I layer from an undoped target, and at least one semi-transparent ohmic electrode.

  15. Strong enhancement of spontaneous emission in amorphous-silicon-nitride photonic crystal based coupled-microcavity structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayindir, M.; Tanriseven, S.; Aydinli, A.; Ozbay, E.

    We investigated photoluminescence (PL) from one-dimensional photonic band gap structures. The photonic crystals, a Fabry-Perot (FP) resonator and a coupled-microcavity (CMC) structure, were fabricated by using alternating hydrogenated amorphous-silicon-nitride and hydrogenated amorphous-silicon-oxide layers. It was observed that these structures strongly modify the PL spectra from optically active amorphous-silicon-nitride thin films. Narrow-band and wide-band PL spectra were achieved in the FP microcavity and the CMC structure, respectively. The angle dependence of PL peak of the FP resonator was also investigated. We also observed that the spontaneous emission increased drastically at the coupled-cavity band edge of the CMC structure due to extremely low group velocity and long photon lifetime. The measurements agree well with the transfer-matrix method results and the prediction of the tight-binding approximation.

  16. Friction and wear of plasma-deposited amorphous hydrogenated films on silicon nitride

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miyoshi, Kazuhisa

    1991-01-01

    An investigation was conducted to examine the friction and wear behavior of amorphous hydrogenated carbon (a-C:H) films in sliding contact with silicon nitride pins in both dry nitrogen and humid air environments. Amorphous hydrogenated carbon films approximately 0.06 micron thick were deposited on silicon nitride flat substrates by using the 30 kHz ac glow discharge of a planar plasma reactor. The results indicate that an increase in plasma deposition power gives an increase in film density and hardness. The high-density a-C:H films deposited behaved tribologically much like bulk diamond. In the dry nitrogen environment, a tribochemical reaction produced a substance, probably a hydrocarbon-rich layer, that decreased the coefficient of friction. In the humid air environment, tribochemical interactions drastically reduced the wear life of a-C:H films and water vapor greatly increased the friction. Even in humid air, effective lubrication is possible with vacuum-annealed a-C:H films. The vacuum-annealed high-density a-C:H film formed an outermost superficial graphitic layer, which behaved like graphite, on the bulk a-C:H film. Like graphite, the annealed a-C:H film with the superficial graphitic layer showed low friction when adsorbed water vapor was present.

  17. Solid state photochemistry. Subpanel A-2(b): Metastability in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, D.

    1996-09-01

    All device quality amorphous silicon based materials exhibit degradation in electronic properties when exposed to sunlight. The photo-induced defects are associated with Si dangling bonds that are created by the recombination and/or trapping of photogenerated carriers. The defects are metastable and can be annealed out at temperatures of about 150 to 200 degrees Centigrade. The density of metastable defects is larger in films that are contaminated with > 10{sup 19} per cubic cm of impurities such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. However, recent experimental results indicate that some metastable defects are still present in films with very low impurity concentrations. The photo-induced defects typically saturate after 100 to 1000 hours of exposure to one sun illumination depending on the deposition conditions. There is also experimental evidence that photo-induced structural changes are occurring in the amorphous silicon based materials and that hydrogen may be playing an important role in both the photo-induced structural changes and in the creation of metastable defects.

  18. Lattice Dynamics at Low Frequency: Resonant and Excess Modes in Amorphous Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, J. L.; Allen, Philip B.; Bickham, S. R.

    1998-03-01

    We study lattice vibrations in amorphous silicon by simulations and exact diagonalizations on finite-size models (216, 1000, and 4096 atoms) built by Wooten using the algorithm of Wooten, Winer, and Weaire. The lowest energy vibrations are at (9.1, 5.4, and 3.4meV) respectively, close to the relevant energy range where ``excess modes'' (``Excess modes'' appear in what is sometimes called the ``Boson peak.'') are found in many glasses. The finite size causes a discrete spectrum rather than the continuous spectrum of a macroscopic sample. Because Q is an approximate quantum number at low frequency, modes tend to bunch into quasi-degenerate groups corresponding to the degeneracies of the small size-quantized Q's. However, approximately 10--20% of low energy modes have frequencies split off from quasi-degenerate groups, and eigenvectors with no good Q, but instead ``quasilocalized'' or ``resonant.'' There is a possible connection with the ``excess vibrations'' and also with anomalously big Grüneisen constants deduced from thermal expansion. Here we report our efforts to extrapolate macroscopic information about low frequency modes. We find a satisfactory fit using an extrapolation which yields only propagating damped acoustic waves with no ``excess modes.'' Therefore we suggest that either amorphous silicon has no excess vibrations or else that excess vibrations are associated with mesoscopic defects such as voids which are absent in our model.

  19. High performance uncooled amorphous silicon VGA IRFPA with 17-µm pixel-pitch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tissot, J. L.; Durand, A.; Garret, Th.; Minassian, C.; Robert, P.; Tinnes, S.; Vilain, M.

    2010-04-01

    The high level of accumulated expertise by ULIS and CEA/LETI on uncooled microbolometers made from amorphous silicon enables ULIS to develop VGA IRFPA formats with 17μm pixel-pitch to build up the currently available product catalog. This detector keeps all the innovations developed on the 25 μm pixel-pitch ROIC (detector configuration by serial link, low power consumption and wide electrical dynamic range). The specific appeal of this unit lies in the high spatial resolution it provides. The reduction of the pixel-pitch turns this TEC-less VGA array into a product well adapted for high resolution and compact systems. In the last part of the paper, we will look more closely at the high electro-optical performances of this IRFPA and the rapid performance enhancement. We will insist on NETD trade-off with wide thermal dynamic range, as well as the high characteristics uniformity, achieved thanks to the mastering of the amorphous silicon technology coupled with the ROIC design. This technology node paves the way to high end products as well as low end compact smaller formats like 160 x 120 or smaller.

  20. Label-free photonic biosensors fabricated with low-loss hydrogenated amorphous silicon resonators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipka, Timo; Wahn, Lennart; Trieu, Hoc Khiem; Hilterhaus, Lutz; Müller, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    The precise detection of chemicals and biomolecules is of great interest in the areas of biotechnology and medical diagnostics. Thus, there is a need for highly sensitive, small area, and low-cost sensors. We fabricated and optically characterized hydrogenated amorphous silicon photonic resonators for label-free lab-on-chip biosensors. The sensing was performed with small-footprint microdisk and microring resonators that detect a refractive-index change via the evanescent electric field. Homogeneous sensing with NaCl and surface-sensing experiments with immobilized bovine serum albumin (BSA) were carried out. A sensitivity as high as 460 nm/RIU was measured for NaCl dissolved in deionized water for the disk, whereas about 50 nm/RIU was determined for the ring resonator. The intrinsic limits of detection were calculated to be 3.3×10 and 3.2×10 at 1550-nm wavelength. We measured the binding of BSA to functionalized ring resonators and found that molecular masses can be detected down to the clinically relevant femtogram regime. The detection and quantification of related analytes with hydrogenated amorphous silicon photonic sensors can be used in medical healthcare diagnostics like point-of-care-testing and biotechnological screening.

  1. Fluoroscopic x-ray imaging with amorphous silicon thin-film arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiebel, Ulrich W.; Conrads, Norbert; Jung, Norbert; Weibrecht, Martin; Wieczorek, Herfried K.; Zaengel, Thomas T.; Powell, M. J.; French, I. D.; Glasse, C.

    1994-05-01

    The dream of an all-solid state large area x-ray image sensor with digital readout and full dynamic performance will most probably find a first realization in 2D thin-film amorphous silicon arrays. In this paper we address in particular the evaluation of the limits of the signal/noise ratio in this concept. Using small prototype detectors measurements of MTF and noise power spectra have been made as a function of x-ray dose. The results are given in terms of the detective quantum efficiency as a function of dose and spatial frequency. We further present an analysis of the different noise sources and their dependence on the detector parameters, and we provide estimates on the maximum signals that may be achieved per unit dose. The intrinsic lag of the amorphous silicon photodiodes causes a second problem area with this type of x-ray detectors. Especially in radiography/fluoroscopy mixed applications, memory effects may not be negligible.

  2. Carbon-assisted growth and high visible-light optical reflectivity of amorphous silicon oxynitride nanowires

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Large amounts of amorphous silicon oxynitride nanowires have been synthesized on silicon wafer through carbon-assisted vapor-solid growth avoiding the contamination from metallic catalysts. These nanowires have the length of up to 100 μm, with a diameter ranging from 50 to 150 nm. Around 3-nm-sized nanostructures are observed to be homogeneously distributed within a nanowire cross-section matrix. The unique configuration might determine the growth of ternary amorphous structure and its special splitting behavior. Optical properties of the nanowires have also been investigated. The obtained nanowires were attractive for their exceptional whiteness, perceived brightness, and optical brilliance. These nanowires display greatly enhanced reflection over the whole visible wavelength, with more than 80% of light reflected on most of the wavelength ranging from 400 to 700 nm and the lowest reflectivity exceeding 70%, exhibiting performance superior to that of the reported white beetle. Intense visible photoluminescence is also observed over a broad spectrum ranging from 320 to 500 nm with two shoulders centered at around 444 and 468 nm, respectively. PMID:21787429

  3. Ion-beam sputtered amorphous silicon films for cryogenic precision measurement systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Peter G.; Martin, Iain W.; Craig, Kieran; Hough, James; Robie, Raymond; Rowan, Sheila; Abernathy, Matt R.; Pershing, Teal; Penn, Steven

    2015-09-01

    Thermal noise resulting from the mechanical loss of multilayer dielectric coatings is expected to impose a limit to the sensitivities of precision measurement systems used in fundamental and applied science. In the case of gravitational wave astronomy, future interferometric gravitational wave detectors are likely to operate at cryogenic temperatures to reduce such thermal noise and ameliorate thermal loading effects, with the desirable thermomechanical properties of silicon making it an attractive mirror substrate choice for this purpose. For use in such a precision instrument, appropriate coatings of low thermal noise are essential. Amorphous silicon (a -Si ) deposited by e-beam and other techniques has been shown to have low mechanical loss. However, to date, the levels of mechanical and optical loss for a -Si when deposited by ion-beam sputtering (the technique required to produce amorphous mirrors of the specification for gravitational wave detector mirrors) are unknown. In this paper results from measurements of the mechanical loss of a series of IBS a -Si films are presented which show that reductions are possible in coating thermal noise of a factor of 1.5 at 120 K and 2.1 at 20 K over the current best IBS coatings (alternating stacks of silica and titania-doped tantala), with further reductions feasible under appropriate heat treatments.

  4. Silica nanoparticles on front glass for efficiency enhancement in superstrate-type amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Sonali; Banerjee, Chandan; Kundu, Avra; Dey, Prasenjit; Saha, Hiranmay; Datta, Swapan K.

    2013-10-01

    Antireflective coating on front glass of superstrate-type single junction amorphous silicon solar cells (SCs) has been applied using highly monodispersed and stable silica nanoparticles (NPs). The silica NPs having 300 nm diameter were synthesized by Stober technique where the size of the NPs was controlled by varying the alcohol medium. The synthesized silica NPs were analysed by dynamic light scattering technique and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The NPs were spin coated on glass side of fluorinated tin oxide (SnO2: F) coated glass superstrate and optimization of the concentration of the colloidal solution, spin speed and number of coated layers was done to achieve minimum reflection characteristics. An estimation of the distribution of the NPs for different optimization parameters has been done using field-emission scanning electron microscopy. Subsequently, the transparent conducting oxide coated glass with the layer having the minimum reflectance is used for fabrication of amorphous silicon SC. Electrical analysis of the fabricated cell indicates an improvement of 6.5% in short-circuit current density from a reference of 12.40 mA cm-2 while the open circuit voltage and the fill factor remains unaltered. A realistic optical model has also been proposed to gain an insight into the system.

  5. Comparative Study of Low-temperature PECVD of Amorphous Silicon using Mono-, Di-, Trisilane and Cyclohexasilane

    SciTech Connect

    Konstantin Pokhodnya; Joseph Sandstrom; Xuliang Dai; Philip Boudjouk; Douglas L. Schulz

    2009-06-08

    The hydrogenated amorphous silicon a-Si:H films were grown by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) using liquid cyclohexasilane Si{sub 6}H{sub 12} (CHS). The growth rate of a-Si:H was studied as a function of substrate temperatures in the range of 30 C < T < 450 C using deposition conditions that were optimized for monosilane SiH{sub 4}. The same parameters were used for a-Si:H films grown using disilane (Si{sub 2}H{sub 6}) and trisilane (Si{sub 3}H{sub 8}) precursors. It was found that the a-Si:H film growth rate for CHS is lower with respect to those for mono-, di- and trisilane in an Ar plasma. Addition of {approx}10% of H{sub 2} dramatically increases the deposition rate for CHS-based films to {_}nm/min - a 700% increase. The as-deposited films were characterized by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy to probe the hydrogen content and local bonding environment. It was found that the films grown using Ar/H{sub 2} mixtures as carrier gas have a reduced hydrogen content relative to polysilane fragments indicating higher quality amorphous silicon.

  6. Fabrication and characterization of monolithically integrated microchannel plates based on amorphous silicon.

    PubMed

    Franco, Andrea; Geissbühler, Jonas; Wyrsch, Nicolas; Ballif, Christophe

    2014-04-04

    Microchannel plates are vacuum-based electron multipliers for particle--in particular, photon--detection, with applications ranging from image intensifiers to single-photon detectors. Their key strengths are large signal amplification, large active area, micrometric spatial resolution and picosecond temporal resolution. Here, we present the first microchannel plate made of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) instead of lead glass. The breakthrough lies in the possibility of realizing amorphous silicon-based microchannel plates (AMCPs) on any kind of substrate. This achievement is based on mastering the deposition of an ultra-thick (80-120 μm) stress-controlled a-Si:H layer from the gas phase at temperatures of about 200 °C and micromachining the channels by dry etching. We fabricated AMCPs that are vertically integrated on metallic anodes of test structures, proving the feasibility of monolithic integration of, for instance, AMCPs on application-specific integrated circuits for signal processing. We show an electron multiplication factor exceeding 30 for an aspect ratio, namely channel length over aperture, of 12.5:1. This result was achieved for input photoelectron currents up to 100 pA, in the continuous illumination regime, which provides a first evidence of the a-Si:H effectiveness in replenishing the electrons dispensed in the multiplication process.

  7. An intercomparison of 11 amorphous silicon EPIDs of the same type: implications for portal dosimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, Peter; Georg, Dietmar

    2006-09-01

    The use of electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs) for portal dosimetry requires knowledge of their dosimetric properties. The pixel value response of amorphous silicon EPIDs of type Elekta iViewGT™ is known to be nonlinear with dose. However, it is not clear whether these nonlinearities vary with time and from one detector to another, respectively. In the present study, the dose-response characteristics of 11 iViewGT EPIDs were investigated with respect to dose rate, total dose and field size. It was found that each detector needs to be individually calibrated, not only in terms of absolute sensitivity but also with respect to its relative response variations with exposure parameters. Doubling the dose rate typically increased the EPID signal between 1.4% and 2.8%. Changing the number of monitor units from 30 to 500 was accompanied by an increase in detector sensitivity between 1.7% and 2.8%. The EPID scatter factors were always within ±1%. It was observed that the dose-response behaviour was not stable with respect to time. Particularly within the first weeks of operation, detector ageing caused variations in both absolute sensitivity and relative response curves. It is recommended to establish a quality assurance programme if the amorphous silicon EPIDs are intended to be used for clinical portal dosimetry.

  8. Fabrication and characterization of monolithically integrated microchannel plates based on amorphous silicon

    PubMed Central

    Franco, Andrea; Geissbühler, Jonas; Wyrsch, Nicolas; Ballif, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Microchannel plates are vacuum-based electron multipliers for particle—in particular, photon— detection, with applications ranging from image intensifiers to single-photon detectors. Their key strengths are large signal amplification, large active area, micrometric spatial resolution and picosecond temporal resolution. Here, we present the first microchannel plate made of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) instead of lead glass. The breakthrough lies in the possibility of realizing amorphous silicon-based microchannel plates (AMCPs) on any kind of substrate. This achievement is based on mastering the deposition of an ultra-thick (80–120 μm) stress-controlled a-Si:H layer from the gas phase at temperatures of about 200°C and micromachining the channels by dry etching. We fabricated AMCPs that are vertically integrated on metallic anodes of test structures, proving the feasibility of monolithic integration of, for instance, AMCPs on application-specific integrated circuits for signal processing. We show an electron multiplication factor exceeding 30 for an aspect ratio, namely channel length over aperture, of 12.5:1. This result was achieved for input photoelectron currents up to 100 pA, in the continuous illumination regime, which provides a first evidence of the a-Si:H effectiveness in replenishing the electrons dispensed in the multiplication process. PMID:24698955

  9. Amorphous SiC layers for electrically conductive Rugate filters in silicon based solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janz, S.; Peters, M.; Künle, M.; Gradmann, R.; Suwito, D.

    2010-05-01

    The subject of this work is the development of an electrically conductive Rugate filter for photovoltaic applications. We think that the optical as well as the electrical performance of the filter can be adapted especially to the requirements of crystalline Si thin-film and amorphous/crystalline silicon tandem solar cells. We have deposited amorphous hydrogenated Silicon Carbide layers (a-SixC1-x:H) with the precursor gases methane (CH4), silane (SiH4) and diborane (B2H6) applying Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PECVD). Through changing just the precursor flows a floating refractive index n from 1.9 to 3.5 (at 633 nm) could be achieved quite accurately. Different complex layer stacks (up to 200 layers) with a sinusoidal refractive index variation normal to the incident light were deposited in just 80 min on 100x100 mm2. Transmission measurements show good agreement between simulation and experiment which proofs our ability to control the deposition process, the good knowledge of the optical behaviour of the different SiC single layers and the advanced stage of our simulation model. The doped single layers show lateral conductivities which were extremely dependent on the Si/C ratio.

  10. Achieving thermography with a thermal security camera using uncooled amorphous silicon microbolometer image sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu-Wei; Tesdahl, Curtis; Owens, Jim; Dorn, David

    2012-06-01

    Advancements in uncooled microbolometer technology over the last several years have opened up many commercial applications which had been previously cost prohibitive. Thermal technology is no longer limited to the military and government market segments. One type of thermal sensor with low NETD which is available in the commercial market segment is the uncooled amorphous silicon (α-Si) microbolometer image sensor. Typical thermal security cameras focus on providing the best image quality by auto tonemaping (contrast enhancing) the image, which provides the best contrast depending on the temperature range of the scene. While this may provide enough information to detect objects and activities, there are further benefits of being able to estimate the actual object temperatures in a scene. This thermographic ability can provide functionality beyond typical security cameras by being able to monitor processes. Example applications of thermography[2] with thermal camera include: monitoring electrical circuits, industrial machinery, building thermal leaks, oil/gas pipelines, power substations, etc...[3][5] This paper discusses the methodology of estimating object temperatures by characterizing/calibrating different components inside a thermal camera utilizing an uncooled amorphous silicon microbolometer image sensor. Plots of system performance across camera operating temperatures will be shown.

  11. Non-negligible Contributions to Thermal Conductivity From Localized Modes in Amorphous Silicon Dioxide

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Wei; Henry, Asegun

    2016-01-01

    Thermal conductivity is important for almost all applications involving heat transfer. The theory and modeling of crystalline materials is in some sense a solved problem, where one can now calculate their thermal conductivity from first principles using expressions based on the phonon gas model (PGM). However, modeling of amorphous materials still has many open questions, because the PGM itself becomes questionable when one cannot rigorously define the phonon velocities. In this report, we used our recently developed Green-Kubo modal analysis (GKMA) method to study amorphous silicon dioxide (a-SiO2). The predicted thermal conductivities exhibit excellent agreement with experiments and anharmonic effects are included in the thermal conductivity calculation for all the modes in a-SiO2 for the first time. Previously, localized modes (locons) have been thought to have a negligible contribution to thermal conductivity, due to their highly localized nature. However, in a-SiO2 our results indicate that locons contribute more than 10% to the total thermal conductivity from 400 K to 800 K and they are largely responsible for the increase in thermal conductivity of a-SiO2 above room temperature. This is an effect that cannot be explained by previous methods and therefore offers new insight into the nature of phonon transport in amorphous/glassy materials. PMID:27767082

  12. Application of mesoporous silicon dioxide and silicate in oral amorphous drug delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Qian, Ken K; Bogner, Robin H

    2012-02-01

    Aqueous solubility of an active pharmaceutical ingredient is an important consideration to ensure successful drug development. Mesoporous materials have been investigated as an amorphous drug delivery system owing to their nanosized capillaries and large surface areas. The complex interactions of crystalline compounds with mesoporous media and their implication in drug delivery are not well understood. Molecules interacting with porous media behave very differently than those in bulk phase. Their altered dynamics and thermodynamics play an important role in the properties and product performance of the amorphous system. In this review, application of mesoporous silicon dioxide and silicates in drug amorphization is the main focus. First, as background, the nature of gas-porous media interactions is summarized. The synthesis of various types of mesoporous silica, which are used by many investigators in this field, is described. Second, the behavior of molecules confined in mesopores is compared with those in bulk, crystalline phase. The molecular dynamics of compounds due to confinement, analyzed using various techniques, and their consequences in drug delivery are discussed. Finally, the preparation and performance of drug delivery systems using mesoporous silica are examined.

  13. Wavelength prediction of laser incident on amorphous silicon detector by neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esmaeili Sani, V.; Moussavi-Zarandi, A.; Kafaee, M.

    2011-10-01

    In this paper we present a method based on artificial neural networks (ANN) and the use of only one amorphous semiconductor detector to predict the wavelength of incident laser. Amorphous semiconductors and especially amorphous hydrogenated silicon, a-Si:H, are now widely used in many electronic devices, such as solar cells, many types of position sensitive detectors and X-ray imagers for medical applications. In order to study the electrical properties and detection characteristics of thin films of a-Si:H, n-i-p structures have been simulated by SILVACO software. The basic electronic properties of most of the materials used are known, but device modeling depends on a large number of parameters that are not all well known. In addition, the relationship between the shape of the induced anode current and the wavelength of the incident laser leads to complicated calculations. Soft data-based computational methods can model multidimensional non-linear processes and represent the complex input-output relation between the form of the output signal and the wavelength of incident laser.

  14. Non-negligible Contributions to Thermal Conductivity From Localized Modes in Amorphous Silicon Dioxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lv, Wei; Henry, Asegun

    2016-10-01

    Thermal conductivity is important for almost all applications involving heat transfer. The theory and modeling of crystalline materials is in some sense a solved problem, where one can now calculate their thermal conductivity from first principles using expressions based on the phonon gas model (PGM). However, modeling of amorphous materials still has many open questions, because the PGM itself becomes questionable when one cannot rigorously define the phonon velocities. In this report, we used our recently developed Green-Kubo modal analysis (GKMA) method to study amorphous silicon dioxide (a-SiO2). The predicted thermal conductivities exhibit excellent agreement with experiments and anharmonic effects are included in the thermal conductivity calculation for all the modes in a-SiO2 for the first time. Previously, localized modes (locons) have been thought to have a negligible contribution to thermal conductivity, due to their highly localized nature. However, in a-SiO2 our results indicate that locons contribute more than 10% to the total thermal conductivity from 400 K to 800 K and they are largely responsible for the increase in thermal conductivity of a-SiO2 above room temperature. This is an effect that cannot be explained by previous methods and therefore offers new insight into the nature of phonon transport in amorphous/glassy materials.

  15. Non-negligible Contributions to Thermal Conductivity From Localized Modes in Amorphous Silicon Dioxide.

    PubMed

    Lv, Wei; Henry, Asegun

    2016-10-21

    Thermal conductivity is important for almost all applications involving heat transfer. The theory and modeling of crystalline materials is in some sense a solved problem, where one can now calculate their thermal conductivity from first principles using expressions based on the phonon gas model (PGM). However, modeling of amorphous materials still has many open questions, because the PGM itself becomes questionable when one cannot rigorously define the phonon velocities. In this report, we used our recently developed Green-Kubo modal analysis (GKMA) method to study amorphous silicon dioxide (a-SiO2). The predicted thermal conductivities exhibit excellent agreement with experiments and anharmonic effects are included in the thermal conductivity calculation for all the modes in a-SiO2 for the first time. Previously, localized modes (locons) have been thought to have a negligible contribution to thermal conductivity, due to their highly localized nature. However, in a-SiO2 our results indicate that locons contribute more than 10% to the total thermal conductivity from 400 K to 800 K and they are largely responsible for the increase in thermal conductivity of a-SiO2 above room temperature. This is an effect that cannot be explained by previous methods and therefore offers new insight into the nature of phonon transport in amorphous/glassy materials.

  16. Direct measurement of free-energy barrier to nucleation of crystallites in amorphous silicon thin films

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shi, Frank G.

    1994-01-01

    A method is introduced to measure the free-energy barrier W(sup *), the activation energy, and activation entropy to nucleation of crystallites in amorphous solids, independent of the energy barrier to growth. The method allows one to determine the temperature dependence of W(sup *), and the effect of the preparation conditions of the initial amorphous phase, the dopants, and the crystallization methds on W(sup *). The method is applied to determine the free-energy barrier to nucleation of crystallites in amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin films. For thermally induced nucleation in a-Si thin films with annealing temperatures in the range of from 824 to 983 K, the free-energy barrier W(sup *) to nucleation of silicon crystals is about 2.0 - 2.1 eV regardless of the preparation conditions of the films. The observation supports the idea that a-Si transforms into an intermediate amorphous state through the structural relaxation prior to the onset of nucleation of crystallites in a-Si. The observation also indicates that the activation entropy may be an insignificant part of the free-energy barrier for the nucleation of crystallites in a-Si. Compared with the free-energy barrier to nucleation of crystallites in undoped a-Si films, a significant reduction is observed in the free-energy barrier to nucleation in Cu-doped a-Si films. For a-Si under irradiation of Xe(2+) at 10(exp 5) eV, the free-energy barrier to ion-induced nucleation of crystallites is shown to be about half of the value associated with thermal-induced nucleation of crystallites in a-Si under the otherwise same conditions, which is much more significant than previously expected. The present method has a general kinetic basis; it thus should be equally applicable to nucleation of crystallites in any amorphous elemental semiconductors and semiconductor alloys, metallic and polymeric glasses, and to nucleation of crystallites in melts and solutions.

  17. Formation of high conductive nano-crystalline silicon embedded in amorphous silicon-carbide films with large optical band gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Yang; Shan, Dan; Qian, Mingqing; Xu, Jun; Li, Wei; Chen, Kunji

    2016-10-01

    High conductive phosphorus-doped nano-crystalline Si embedded in Silicon-Carbide (SiC) host matrix (nc-Si:SiC) films were obtained by thermally annealing doped amorphous Si-rich SiC materials. It was found that the room conductivity is increased significantly accompanying with the increase of doping concentrations as well as the enhanced crystallizations. The conductivity can be as high as 630 S/cm for samples with the optical band gap around 2.7 eV, while the carrier mobility is about 17.9 cm2/ V.s. Temperature-dependent conductivity and mobility measurements were performed which suggested that the carrier transport process is strongly affected by both the grain boundaries and the doping concentrations.

  18. Method of enhancing the electronic properties of an undoped and/or N-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon film

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1980-01-01

    The dark conductivity and photoconductivity of an N-type and/or undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon layer fabricated by an AC or DC proximity glow discharge in silane can be increased through the incorporation of argon in an amount from 10 to about 90 percent by volume of the glow discharge atmosphere which contains a silicon-hydrogen containing compound in an amount of from about 90 to about 10 volume percent.

  19. The Synthesis and Structural Properties of Crystalline Silicon Quantum Dots upon Thermal Annealing of Hydrogenated Amorphous Si-Rich Silicon Carbide Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Guozhi; Zeng, Xiangbin; Li, Xianghu

    2016-08-01

    Silicon quantum dots (QDs) embedded in non-stoichiometric hydrogenated silicon carbide (SiC:H) thin films have been successfully synthesized by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition and post-annealing. The chemical composition analyses have been carried out by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The bonding configurations have been deduced from Fourier transform infrared absorption measurements (FTIR). The evolution of microstructure with temperature has been characterized by glancing incident x-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman diffraction spectroscopy. XPS and FTIR show that it is in Si-rich feature and there are a few hydrogenated silicon clusters in the as-grown sample. XRD and Raman diffraction spectroscopy show that it is in amorphous for the as-grown sample, while crystalline silicon QDs have been synthesized in the 900°C annealed sample. Silicon atoms precipitation from the SiC matrix or silicon phase transition from amorphous SiC is enhanced with annealing temperature increase. The average sizes of silicon QDs are about 5.1 nm and 5.6 nm, the number densities are as high as 1.7 × 1012 cm-2 and 3.2 × 1012 cm-2, and the crystalline volume fractions are about 58.3% and 61.3% for the 900°C and 1050°C annealed samples, respectively. These structural properties analyses provide an understanding about the synthesis of silicon QDs upon thermal annealing for applications in next generation optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices.

  20. Microstructure factor and mechanical and electronic properties of hydrogenated amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon thin-films for microelectromechanical systems applications

    SciTech Connect

    Mouro, J.; Gualdino, A.; Chu, V.; Conde, J. P.

    2013-11-14

    Thin-film silicon allows the fabrication of MEMS devices at low processing temperatures, compatible with monolithic integration in advanced electronic circuits, on large-area, low-cost, and flexible substrates. The most relevant thin-film properties for applications as MEMS structural layers are the deposition rate, electrical conductivity, and mechanical stress. In this work, n{sup +}-type doped hydrogenated amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon thin-films were deposited by RF-PECVD, and the influence of the hydrogen dilution in the reactive mixture, the RF-power coupled to the plasma, the substrate temperature, and the deposition pressure on the structural, electrical, and mechanical properties of the films was studied. Three different types of silicon films were identified, corresponding to three internal structures: (i) porous amorphous silicon, deposited at high rates and presenting tensile mechanical stress and low electrical conductivity, (ii) dense amorphous silicon, deposited at intermediate rates and presenting compressive mechanical stress and higher values of electrical conductivity, and (iii) nanocrystalline silicon, deposited at very low rates and presenting the highest compressive mechanical stress and electrical conductivity. These results show the combinations of electromechanical material properties available in silicon thin-films and thus allow the optimized selection of a thin silicon film for a given MEMS application. Four representative silicon thin-films were chosen to be used as structural material of electrostatically actuated MEMS microresonators fabricated by surface micromachining. The effect of the mechanical stress of the structural layer was observed to have a great impact on the device resonance frequency, quality factor, and actuation force.

  1. Ultrafast all-optical arithmetic logic based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon microring resonators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gostimirovic, Dusan; Ye, Winnie N.

    2016-03-01

    For decades, the semiconductor industry has been steadily shrinking transistor sizes to fit more performance into a single silicon-based integrated chip. This technology has become the driving force for advances in education, transportation, and health, among others. However, transistor sizes are quickly approaching their physical limits (channel lengths are now only a few silicon atoms in length), and Moore's law will likely soon be brought to a stand-still despite many unique attempts to keep it going (FinFETs, high-k dielectrics, etc.). This technology must then be pushed further by exploring (almost) entirely new methodologies. Given the explosive growth of optical-based long-haul telecommunications, we look to apply the use of high-speed optics as a substitute to the digital model; where slow, lossy, and noisy metal interconnections act as a major bottleneck to performance. We combine the (nonlinear) optical Kerr effect with a single add-drop microring resonator to perform the fundamental AND-XOR logical operations of a half adder, by all-optical means. This process is also applied to subtraction, higher-order addition, and the realization of an all-optical arithmetic logic unit (ALU). The rings use hydrogenated amorphous silicon as a material with superior nonlinear properties to crystalline silicon, while still maintaining CMOS-compatibility and the many benefits that come with it (low cost, ease of fabrication, etc.). Our method allows for multi-gigabit-per-second data rates while maintaining simplicity and spatial minimalism in design for high-capacity manufacturing potential.

  2. Stress as a governing parameter to control the crystallization of amorphous silicon films by thermal annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazra, Sukti; Sakata, Isao; Yamanaka, Mitsuyuki; Suzuki, Eiichi

    2002-06-01

    We have fabricated nanocrystalline dots by thermal annealing (TA) of thermal chemical-vapor-deposited amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films. In S. Hazra, I. Sakata, M. Yamanaka, and E. Suzuki, Appl. Phys. Lett. 80, 1159 (2002), we observed that ultrathin a-Si:H films (2-10 nm) are stressed because of the presence of deformed crystallites or paracrystallites. With the increase of thickness, volume fraction of paracrystallites decreased in the films and stress in the films gradually reduced. Therefore, by changing the thickness, we can control the stress in the a-Si:H films and thereby the dimensions (in the range of 5 to 10 nm) as well as volume fractions of nanocrystallites formed by TA. On the other hand, it has been found that relaxed a-Si:H networks form polycrystalline films by TA.

  3. Optimal activation and diffusion paths of perfect events in amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Yinglei; Malek, Rachid; Mousseau, Normand

    2000-12-01

    Knowledge of the dynamics in amorphous silicon that occurs through a sequence of discrete activated events is essential to predict many of the associated physical and chemical properties. Using the recently introduced nudged elastic band method of Jónsson, Mills, and Jacobsen and a modified empirical Stillinger-Weber potential, we investigate, in detail, 802 perfect events generated with the activation-relaxation technique. We find that a large number of the high-energy events contain, in fact, two or more ``subevents.'' With this result included, the average barrier height goes down to about 3.0 eV, in line with experimental values and we also find that the bond-exchange mechanism of Wooten, Winer, and Weaire is, by far, the most important one for nondefect based dynamics in a-Si.

  4. Amorphous silicon-indium-zinc oxide semiconductor thin film transistors processed below 150 °C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chong, Eugene; Chun, Yoon Soo; Lee, Sang Yeol

    2010-09-01

    Amorphous silicon-indium-zinc-oxide (a-SIZO) thin film transistor (TFT) was investigated with the process temperature below 150 °C. The a-SIZO TFT exhibited a field effect mobility of 21.6 cm2/V s and an on/off ratio of 107. The stabilities of a-SIZO TFT and indium-zinc-oxide (IZO) TFT were compared, and a-SIZO TFT showed 3.7 V shift for threshold voltage (Vth) compared to 10.8 V shift in IZO TFT after bias temperature stress. Si incorporation into IZO-system as a stabilizer, which was confirmed by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, resulted in small shift in Vth in a-SIZO TFT without deteriorating mobility of higher than 21.6 cm2/V s.

  5. Picosecond and nanosecond laser annealing and simulation of amorphous silicon thin films for solar cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodorakos, I.; Zergioti, I.; Vamvakas, V.; Tsoukalas, D.; Raptis, Y. S.

    2014-01-01

    In this work, a picosecond diode pumped solid state laser and a nanosecond Nd:YAG laser have been used for the annealing and the partial nano-crystallization of an amorphous silicon layer. These experiments were conducted as an alternative/complementary to plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition method for fabrication of micromorph tandem solar cell. The laser experimental work was combined with simulations of the annealing process, in terms of temperature distribution evolution, in order to predetermine the optimum annealing conditions. The annealed material was studied, as a function of several annealing parameters (wavelength, pulse duration, fluence), as far as it concerns its structural properties, by X-ray diffraction, SEM, and micro-Raman techniques.

  6. Metamaterial-plasmonic absorber structure for high efficiency amorphous silicon solar cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Sun, Tianyi; Paudel, Trilochan; Zhang, Yi; Ren, Zhifeng; Kempa, Krzysztof

    2012-01-11

    We show that a planar structure, consisting of an ultrathin semiconducting layer topped with a solid nanoscopically perforated metallic film and then a dielectric interference film, can highly absorb (superabsorb) electromagnetic radiation in the entire visible range, and thus can become a platform for high-efficiency solar cells. The perforated metallic film and the ultrathin absorber in this broadband superabsorber form a metamaterial effective film, which negatively refracts light in this broad frequency range. Our quantitative simulations confirm that the superabsorption bandwidth is maximized at the checkerboard pattern of the perforations. These simulations show also that the energy conversion efficiency of a single-junction amorphous silicon solar cell based on our optimized structure can exceed 12%.

  7. Luminescent amorphous silicon carbide ultrafine nanoparticles fabricated by pulsed-laser ablation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Jun; Hu, Shan; Wang, Wei; Xia, Wei-wei; Chen, Hai-tao; Chen, Xiao-bing

    2017-04-01

    Bulk quantities of amorphous silicon carbide(SiC) ultrafine nanoparticles have been prepared via pulsed-laser ablation on a polished 3C-SiC polycrystalline target immersed in de-ionized water. The diameter of the nanoparticles is 10 ± 2.0 nm. The surface of the nanoparticles binds to the -H and -OH groups in water, suggesting that the ultrafine nanoparticles are hydrophilic. A direct band gap energy of 5.3 eV and an indirect band gap energy of 2.4 eV were determined via the ultraviolet-visible absorption characterization, which implies that the nanoparticles are of SiC. As excited at 320 nm, the suspension exhibited strong and stable violet emissions centered at 430 nm.

  8. What Can Plasticity of Amorphous Silicon Tell Us about Plasticity of Metallic Glasses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argon, A. S.; Demkowicz, M. J.

    2008-08-01

    In a recent set of computer simulations, we have analyzed the atomic-level kinematics and kinetics of the plastic relaxations that constitute shear transformations (STs) responsible for plasticity in amorphous silicon (a-Si). Here, we summarize the rich mechanistic details of the triggering of these transformations from “fertile” sites having a slight excess of liquidlike atomic environments and develop analytical models for the evolution of liquidlike material with plastic strain, leading to a unique flow state. Furthermore, a kinetic model of flow is developed, which accounts for the stress-strain curves with broad yield phenomena as well as for the temperature dependence of the plastic resistance found in the simulations. While the details of these findings apply specifically to network glasses of a-Si, we find far-reaching parallels to the flow mechanisms in metallic and polymeric glasses.

  9. On electric conduction of amorphous silicon carbonitride derived from a polymeric precursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yaohan; Yang, Fuqian; An, Linan

    2013-06-01

    A long-existing problem that the conductivity of amorphous silicon carbonitrides derived from polymeric precursor increases significantly with pyrolysis temperature is investigated. We show that the conductivity exhibited an Arrhenius dependence on pyrolysis temperature, with the activation energy of ˜3.41 eV. Structural analysis using Raman spectroscopy reveals that the free carbon within the material undergoes a sp3-to-sp2 transition as pyrolysis temperature increases, with the activation energy of ˜3.6 eV. We conclude that the pyrolysis-temperature induced increase in the conductivity is mainly due to the increase in the conductivity of the free carbon. A simple model is proposed to correlate the two.

  10. Risk assessment of amorphous silicon dioxide nanoparticles in a glass cleaner formulation

    PubMed Central

    Scheel, Julia; Karsten, Stefan; Stelter, Norbert; Wind, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    Since nanomaterials are a heterogeneous group of substances used in various applications, risk assessment needs to be done on a case-by-case basis. Here the authors assess the risk (hazard and exposure) of a glass cleaner with synthetic amorphous silicon dioxide (SAS) nanoparticles during production and consumer use (spray application). As the colloidal material used is similar to previously investigated SAS, the hazard profile was considered to be comparable. Overall, SAS has a low toxicity. Worker exposure was analysed to be well controlled. The particle size distribution indicated that the aerosol droplets were in a size range not expected to reach the alveoli. Predictive modelling was used to approximate external exposure concentrations. Consumer and environmental exposure were estimated conservatively and were not of concern. It was concluded based on the available weight-of-evidence that the production and application of the glass cleaner is safe for humans and the environment under intended use conditions. PMID:22548260

  11. (29)Si hyperfine structure of the E(')(alpha) center in amorphous silicon dioxide.

    PubMed

    Buscarino, G; Agnello, S; Gelardi, F M

    2006-09-29

    We report a study by electron paramagnetic resonance on the E'(alpha) point defect in amorphous silicon dioxide (a-SiO(2)). Our experiments were performed on gamma-ray irradiated oxygen-deficient materials and pointed out that the (29)Si hyperfine structure of the E'(alpha) consists of a pair of lines split by approximately 49 mT. On the basis of the experimental results, a microscopic model is proposed for the E'(alpha) center, consisting of a hole trapped in an oxygen vacancy with the unpaired electron sp(3) orbital pointing away from the vacancy in a back-projected configuration and interacting with an extra oxygen atom of the a-SiO(2) matrix.

  12. Risk assessment of amorphous silicon dioxide nanoparticles in a glass cleaner formulation.

    PubMed

    Michel, Karin; Scheel, Julia; Karsten, Stefan; Stelter, Norbert; Wind, Thorsten

    2013-08-01

    Since nanomaterials are a heterogeneous group of substances used in various applications, risk assessment needs to be done on a case-by-case basis. Here the authors assess the risk (hazard and exposure) of a glass cleaner with synthetic amorphous silicon dioxide (SAS) nanoparticles during production and consumer use (spray application). As the colloidal material used is similar to previously investigated SAS, the hazard profile was considered to be comparable. Overall, SAS has a low toxicity. Worker exposure was analysed to be well controlled. The particle size distribution indicated that the aerosol droplets were in a size range not expected to reach the alveoli. Predictive modelling was used to approximate external exposure concentrations. Consumer and environmental exposure were estimated conservatively and were not of concern. It was concluded based on the available weight-of-evidence that the production and application of the glass cleaner is safe for humans and the environment under intended use conditions.

  13. Amorphous silicon research. Phase III technical progress report, August 1, 1996--July 31, 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S.

    1997-11-01

    The principal objective of this R&D program is to expand, enhance and accelerate knowledge and capabilities for the development of high-performance, two-terminal multijunction hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si) alloy cells and modules. The near-term goal of the program is to achieve 12% stable active-area efficiency using the multijunction approach. The long-term goal is to achieve 15% stable efficiency multijunction modules. The major effort of this program is to develop high efficiency component cells and incorporate them in the triple-junction structure to obtain the highest stable efficiency. New and improved deposition regimes were investigated to obtain better cell performance. Fundamental studies to obtain better understanding of material and cell performance were undertaken.

  14. Plasmonic multilayer nanoparticles enhanced photocurrent in thin film hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Chung-I.; Yeh, Dan-Ju; Su, Vin-Cent; Yang, Chieh-Hung; Yang, Po-Chuan; Pu, Ming-Yi; Kuan, Chieh-Hsiung; Cheng, I.-Chun; Lee, Si-Chen

    2012-07-01

    A plasmonic-structure incorporated double layer of Au nanoparticles embedded in the transparent conducting oxide at the back-reflector of the hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells is demonstrated. These devices exhibit an increase of energy conversion efficiency of 18.4% and short-circuit current density of 9.8% while improving fill-factor and without sacrificing open-circuit voltage. The increase in photocurrent is correlated with the enhanced optical absorption in the cell, with improved optical-path-length by a factor of 7 at the wavelength of 800 nm, due to enhanced diffuse scattering of light through resonant plasmon excitations within Au nanoparticles. In addition to enhanced scattering, applying high-work-function Au nanoparticles can improve the work function match at TCO/a-Si:H interface.

  15. Laser annealing of amorphous/poly: Silicon solar cell material flight experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, Eric E.

    1990-01-01

    The preliminary design proposed for the microelectronics materials processing equipment is presented. An overall mission profile, description of all processing steps, analysis methods and measurement techniques, data acquisition and storage, and a preview of the experimental hardware are included. The goal of the project is to investigate the viability of material processing of semiconductor microelectronics materials in a micro-gravity environment. The two key processes are examined: (1) Rapid Thermal Annealing (RTA) of semiconductor thin films and damaged solar cells, and (2) thin film deposition using a filament evaporator. The RTA process will be used to obtain higher quality crystalline properties from amorphous/poly-silicon films. RTA methods can also be used to repair radiation-damaged solar cells. On earth this technique is commonly used to anneal semiconductor films after ion-implantation. The damage to the crystal lattice is similar to the defects found in solar cells which have been exposed to high-energy particle bombardment.

  16. Critical oxygen concentration in hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells dependent on the contamination source

    SciTech Connect

    Woerdenweber, Jan; Merdzhanova, Tsvetelina; Gordijn, Aad; Stiebig, Helmut; Beyer, Wolfhard

    2010-03-08

    For hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells, the critical concentration of a given impurity defines the lowest concentration which causes a decay of solar cell efficiency. Values of 2-5x10{sup 19} cm{sup -3} are commonly found for the critical oxygen concentration (C{sub O}{sup crit}) of a-Si:H. Here we report a dependence of C{sub O}{sup crit} on the contamination source. For state-of-the-art a-Si:H solar cells prepared at the same plasma deposition conditions, we obtain with a (controllable) chamber wall leak C{sub O}{sup crit} approx2x10{sup 19} cm{sup -3} while for a leak in the gas supply line a higher C{sub O}{sup crit} of approx2x10{sup 20} cm{sup -3} is measured. No such dependence is observed for nitrogen.

  17. Properties of amorphous silicon thin films grown in square wave modulated silane rf discharges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andújar, J. L.; Bertran, E.; Canillas, A.; Campmany, J.; Serra, J.; Roch, C.; Lloret, A.

    1992-02-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin films have been obtained from pure SiH4 rf discharges by using the square wave modulation (SQWM) method. Film properties have been studied by means of spectroellipsometry, thermal desorption spectrometry, photothermal deflection spectroscopy and electrical conductivity measurements, as a function of the modulation frequency of the rf power amplitude (0.2-4000 Hz). The films deposited at frequencies about 1 kHz show the best structural and optoelectronic characteristics. Based upon the experimental results, a qualitative model is presented, which points up the importance of plasma negative ions in the deposition of a-Si:H from SQWM rf discharges through their influence on powder particle formation.

  18. Microprocessor-based controller for automatic amorphous silicon solar cells characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Cibils, R.M.; Buitrago, R.H.

    1984-07-01

    This work describes an innovation of traditional systems used in C--V and G--V curve measurements. Although this system has been specifically developed to be used in the characterization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), it is useful when information about conductance (G) or capacitance (C) frequency dependence is needed. The highlights of the new system are signal heterodination and microprocessor-based digital control over current range and modulation frequency. The outstanding advantages of this system are significant reduction of operation time and more reliable measurements. Additionally, there is no waste of computer time in the control of data-acquisition operations. The system has an excellent signal-to-noise ratio, a nearly infinite line signal rejection, and a broad frequency range of operation (20 to 10/sup 5/ Hz).

  19. Direct visualization of photoinduced glassy dynamics on the amorphous silicon carbide surface by STM movies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Duc; Nienhaus, Lea; Haasch, Richard T.; Lyding, Joseph; Gruebele, Martin

    2015-03-01

    Glassy dynamics can be controlled by light irradiation. Sub- and above-bandgap irradiation cause numerous phenomena in glasses including photorelaxation, photoexpansion, photodarkening and pohtoinduced fluidity. We used scanning tunneling microscopy to study surface glassy dynamics of amorphous silicon carbide irradiated with above- bandgap 532 nm light. Surface clusters of ~ 4-5 glass forming unit in diameter hop mostly in a two-state fashion, both without and with irradiation. Upon irradiation, the average surface hopping activity increases by a factor of 3. A very long (~1 day) movie of individual clusters with varying laser power density provides direct evidence for photoinduced enhanced hopping on the glass surfaces. We propose two mechanisms: heating and electronic for the photoenhanced surface dynamics.

  20. A simple amorphous-silicon photodetector for two-dimensional position sensing

    SciTech Connect

    Carabe, J.; Gandia, J.J.; Gonzalez, N.; Galiano, E.; Gutierrez, M.T.

    1996-11-01

    A simple two-dimensional position-sensitive detector is proposed and initial tests are reported. The device, aimed to be high-energy-radiation resistant and reliable under magnetic fields, is based on a set of small {ital p}-{ital i}-{ital n} amorphous silicon photodiodes acting as pixels sandwiched between two perpendicular strip electrode structures. No thin-film transistors are used. A simplified prototype has been made and tested. The results show that the position of a laser spot on its surface can be deduced from the signals it generates. Further work proposed, includes tests on possible cross talk and behavior under radiation and magnetic fields, as well as the development of methods for accurate position calculation and for appropriate response calibration. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  1. Paramagnetic nitrogen defects in silicon nitride. [Amorphous hydrogenated SiN

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, W.L. ); Kanicki, J. . Thomas J. Watson Research Center); Robertson, J. ); Poindexter, E.H. )

    1992-01-01

    Photocreation mechanisms and properties of nitrogen dangling bonds in amorphous hydrogenated silicon nitride (a-SiN[sub x]:H) thin films are investigated. We find that the creation kinetics are strongly dependent on the post-deposition anneal; this thermal process can be described by a simple exponential function which yields an activation energy of 0.8 eV. The compositional dependence of the nitrogen dangling bond center suggests that its energy level lies close to the valence band edge, in agreement with theoretical calculations. This energy level position can explain why a-SiN[sub x]:H films often become conducting following a high post-deposition anneal.

  2. Mapping between atomistic simulations and Eshelby inclusions in the shear deformation of an amorphous silicon model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albaret, T.; Tanguy, A.; Boioli, F.; Rodney, D.

    2016-05-01

    In this paper we perform quasistatic shear simulations of model amorphous silicon bulk samples with Stillinger-Weber-type potentials. Local plastic rearrangements identified based on local energy variations are fitted through their displacement fields on collections of Eshelby spherical inclusions, allowing determination of their transformation strain tensors. The latter are then used to quantitatively reproduce atomistic stress-strain curves, in terms of both shear and pressure components. We demonstrate that our methodology is able to capture the plastic behavior predicted by different Stillinger-Weber potentials, in particular, their different shear tension coupling. These calculations justify the decomposition of plasticity into shear transformations used so far in mesoscale models and provide atomic-scale parameters that can be used to limit the empiricism needed in such models up to now.

  3. Crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon films by exposure to femtosecond pulsed laser radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Volodin, V. A.; Kachko, A. S.

    2011-02-15

    To crystallize hydrogenated amorphous silicon films on glass substrates, pulsed Ti-sapphire laser radiation is used, with a pulse duration less than 30 fs. The initial films are grown by plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor deposition at the temperatures 200 and 250 Degree-Sign C. The structural properties of the initial films and films treated with laser radiation pulses are studied by Raman spectroscopy. The conditions for complete crystallization of the films grown on glass substrates to thicknesses of up to 100 nm and hydrogen content of up to 20 at % are established. The conditions provide the fabrication of highly homogeneous films by scanning laser treatments. It is found that, if the hydrogen content in the film is 30-40 at %, the crystallization is an inhomogeneous process and laser ablation is observed in some areas of the films.

  4. High-Sensitivity X-ray Polarimetry with Amorphous Silicon Active-Matrix Pixel Proportional Counters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Black, J. K.; Deines-Jones, P.; Jahoda, K.; Ready, S. E.; Street, R. A.

    2003-01-01

    Photoelectric X-ray polarimeters based on pixel micropattern gas detectors (MPGDs) offer order-of-magnitude improvement in sensitivity over more traditional techniques based on X-ray scattering. This new technique places some of the most interesting astronomical observations within reach of even a small, dedicated mission. The most sensitive instrument would be a photoelectric polarimeter at the focus of 2 a very large mirror, such as the planned XEUS. Our efforts are focused on a smaller pathfinder mission, which would achieve its greatest sensitivity with large-area, low-background, collimated polarimeters. We have recently demonstrated a MPGD polarimeter using amorphous silicon thin-film transistor (TFT) readout suitable for the focal plane of an X-ray telescope. All the technologies used in the demonstration polarimeter are scalable to the areas required for a high-sensitivity collimated polarimeter. Leywords: X-ray polarimetry, particle tracking, proportional counter, GEM, pixel readout

  5. Nanometric Cutting of Silicon with an Amorphous-Crystalline Layered Structure: A Molecular Dynamics Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinshi; Fang, Fengzhou; Zhang, Xiaodong

    2017-01-01

    Materials with specific nanometric layers are of great value in both theoretical and applied research. The nanometric layer could have a significant influence on the response to the mechanical loading. In this paper, the nanometric cutting on the layered systems of silicon has been studied by molecular dynamics. This kind of composite structure with amorphous layer and crystalline substrate is important for nanomachining. Material deformation, stress status, and chip formation, which are the key issues in nano-cutting, are analyzed. A new chip formation mechanism, i.e., the mixture of extrusion and shear, has been observed. In addition, from the perspective of engineering, some specific composite models show the desired properties due to the low subsurface damage or large material removal rate. The results enrich the cutting theory and provide guidance on nanometric machining.

  6. Band-gap engineering by molecular mechanical strain-induced giant tuning of the luminescence in colloidal amorphous porous silicon nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Mughal, A; El Demellawi, J K; Chaieb, Sahraoui

    2014-12-14

    Nano-silicon is a nanostructured material in which quantum or spatial confinement is the origin of the material's luminescence. When nano-silicon is broken into colloidal crystalline nanoparticles, its luminescence can be tuned across the visible spectrum only when the sizes of the nanoparticles, which are obtained via painstaking filtration methods that are difficult to scale up because of low yield, vary. Bright and tunable colloidal amorphous porous silicon nanostructures have not yet been reported. In this letter, we report on a 100 nm modulation in the emission of freestanding colloidal amorphous porous silicon nanostructures via band-gap engineering. The mechanism responsible for this tunable modulation, which is independent of the size of the individual particles and their distribution, is the distortion of the molecular orbitals by a strained silicon-silicon bond angle. This mechanism is also responsible for the amorphous-to-crystalline transformation of silicon.

  7. Research on stable, high-efficiency, large-area, amorphous-silicon-based submodules

    SciTech Connect

    Delahoy, A.E.; Tonon, T.; Macneil, J. )

    1991-06-01

    The primary objective of this subcontract is to develop the technology for same bandgap, amorphous silicon tandem junction photovoltaic modules having an area of at least 900 cm{sup 2} with the goal of achieving an aperture area efficiency of 9%. A further objective is to demonstrate modules that retain 95% of their under standard light soaking conditions. Our approach to the attainment of these objective is based on the following distinctive technologies: (a) in-house deposition of SiO{sub 2}/SnO{sub 2}:F onto soda lime glass by APCVD to provide a textured, transparent electrode, (b) single chamber r.f. flow discharge deposition of the a-Si:H layers onto vertical substrates contained with high package density in a box carrier'' to which the discharge is confined (c) sputter deposition of highly reflecting, ZnO-based back contacts, and (d) laser scribing of the a-Si:H and electrodes with real-time scribe tracking to minimize area loss. Continued development of single junction amorphous silicon was aggressively pursued as proving ground for various optical enhancement schemes, new p-layers, and i-layers quality. We have rigorously demonstrated that the introduction of a transitional i-layer does not impair stability and that the initial gain in performance is retained. We have demonstrated a small improvement in cell stability through a post-fabrication treatment consisting of multiple, intense light flashes followed by sufficient annealing. Finally, several experiments have indicated that long term stability can be improved by overcoating the SnO{sub 2} with ZnO. 25 refs., 17 figs.

  8. Electronic properties of embedded graphene: doped amorphous silicon/CVD graphene heterostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arezki, Hakim; Boutchich, Mohamed; Alamarguy, David; Madouri, Ali; Alvarez, José; Cabarrocas, Pere Roca i.; Kleider, Jean-Paul; Yao, Fei; Lee, Young Hee

    2016-10-01

    Large-area graphene film is of great interest for a wide spectrum of electronic applications, such as field effect devices, displays, and solar cells, among many others. Here, we fabricated heterostructures composed of graphene (Gr) grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on copper substrate and transferred to SiO2/Si substrates, capped by n- or p-type doped amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Using Raman scattering we show that despite the mechanical strain induced by the a-Si:H deposition, the structural integrity of the graphene is preserved. Moreover, Hall effect measurements directly on the embedded graphene show that the electronic properties of CVD graphene can be modulated according to the doping type of the a-Si:H as well as its phase i.e. amorphous or nanocrystalline. The sheet resistance varies from 360 Ω sq-1 to 1260 Ω sq-1 for the (p)-a-Si:H/Gr (n)-a-Si:H/Gr, respectively. We observed a temperature independent hole mobility of up to 1400 cm2 V-1 s-1 indicating that charge impurity is the principal mechanism limiting the transport in this heterostructure. We have demonstrated that embedding CVD graphene under a-Si:H is a viable route for large scale graphene based solar cells or display applications.

  9. Electronic properties and microstructures of amorphous silicon carbonitrides ceramics derived from polymer precursors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Tao

    2009-12-01

    Polymer-derived ceramics (PDCs) are a new class of high-temperature materials synthesized by thermal decomposition of polymeric precursors. These materials possess many unique features as compared with conventional ceramics synthesized by powder metallurgy based processing. For example, PDCs are neither amorphous nor crystalline. Instead, they possess nano-domain structures. Due to the direct chemical-to-ceramic processing, PDCs can be used for making components and devices with complex shapes. Thus, understanding the properties and structures of these materials are of both fundamental and practical interest. In this work, the structures and electronic behavior of polymer-derived amorphous silicon carbonitrides (SiCNs) were investigated. The materials were synthesized by pyrolysis of a commercially available liquid precursor. Ceramic materials with varied structures/properties were successfully synthesized by modifying the precursor and using different pyrolysis temperatures. The structures of the obtained materials were studied using XRD, solid state NMR, EPR, FTIR and Raman Spectroscope. The electronic behavior of the materials was investigated by measuring I-V curves, Hall effects, temperature dependent conductivity. The experiments were also performed to measure UV-Visible absorption and dielectric properties of the materials. This work leads to the following significant progresses: (i) developed quantitative technique for measuring free carbon concentration; (ii) achieved better understanding of the electronic conduction mechanisms and measured electronic structures of the materials for the first time; and (iii) demonstrated that these materials possess unusual dielectric behavior and provide qualitative explanations.

  10. A hybrid solar cell fabricated using amorphous silicon and a fullerene derivative.

    PubMed

    Yun, Myoung Hee; Jang, Ji Hoon; Kim, Kyung Min; Song, Hee-eun; Lee, Jeong Chul; Kim, Jin Young

    2013-12-07

    Hybrid solar cells, based on organic and inorganic semiconductors, are a promising way to enhance the efficiency of solar cells because they make better use of the solar spectrum and are straightforward to fabricate. We report on a new hybrid solar cell comprised of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester ([71]PCBM), and poly-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene poly styrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS). The properties of these PEDOT:PSS/a-Si:H/[71]PCBM devices were studied as a function of the thickness of the a-Si:H layer. It was observed that the open circuit voltage and the short circuit current density of the device depended on the thickness of the a-Si:H layer. Under simulated one sun AM 1.5 global illumination (100 mW cm(-2)), a power conversion efficiency of 2.84% was achieved in a device comprised of a 274 nm-thick layer of a-Si:H; this is the best performance achieved to date for a hybrid solar cell made of amorphous Si and organic materials.

  11. Electronic properties of embedded graphene: doped amorphous silicon/CVD graphene heterostructures.

    PubMed

    Arezki, Hakim; Boutchich, Mohamed; Alamarguy, David; Madouri, Ali; Alvarez, José; Cabarrocas, Pere Roca I; Kleider, Jean-Paul; Yao, Fei; Hee Lee, Young

    2016-10-12

    Large-area graphene film is of great interest for a wide spectrum of electronic applications, such as field effect devices, displays, and solar cells, among many others. Here, we fabricated heterostructures composed of graphene (Gr) grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on copper substrate and transferred to SiO2/Si substrates, capped by n‑ or p-type doped amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Using Raman scattering we show that despite the mechanical strain induced by the a-Si:H deposition, the structural integrity of the graphene is preserved. Moreover, Hall effect measurements directly on the embedded graphene show that the electronic properties of CVD graphene can be modulated according to the doping type of the a-Si:H as well as its phase i.e. amorphous or nanocrystalline. The sheet resistance varies from 360 Ω sq(-1) to 1260 Ω sq(-1) for the (p)-a-Si:H/Gr (n)-a-Si:H/Gr, respectively. We observed a temperature independent hole mobility of up to 1400 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) indicating that charge impurity is the principal mechanism limiting the transport in this heterostructure. We have demonstrated that embedding CVD graphene under a-Si:H is a viable route for large scale graphene based solar cells or display applications.

  12. Silicon and aluminum doping effects on the microstructure and properties of polymeric amorphous carbon films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiaoqiang; Hao, Junying; Xie, Yuntao

    2016-08-01

    Polymeric amorphous carbon films were prepared by radio frequency (R.F. 13.56 MHz) magnetron sputtering deposition. The microstructure evolution of the deposited polymeric films induced by silicon (Si) and aluminum(Al) doping were scrutinized through infrared spectroscopy, multi-wavelength Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The comparative results show that Si doping can enhance polymerization and Al doping results in an increase in the ordered carbon clusters. Si and Al co-doping into polymeric films leads to the formation of an unusual dual nanostructure consisting of cross-linked polymer-like hydrocarbon chains and fullerene-like carbon clusters. The super-high elasticity and super-low friction coefficients (<0.002) under a high vacuum were obtained through Si and Al co-doping into the films. Unconventionally, the co-doped polymeric films exhibited a superior wear resistance even though they were very soft. The relationship between the microstructure and properties of the polymeric amorphous carbon films with different elements doping are also discussed in detail.

  13. In situ infrared and mass spectroscopic study of the reaction of WF6 with hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wadayama, Toshimasa; Shibata, Hironobu; Ohtani, Tsutomu; Hatta, Aritada

    1992-08-01

    The reaction process of tungsten hexafluoride (WF6) with photochemically deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon was studied by polarization modulation infrared spectroscopy and quadruple mass spectrometry. Infrared absorption bands due to species (SiH3 and SiH2) incorporated in the hydrogenated amorphous silicon were decreased in intensity during exposure of WF6. The reduction rate was faster for the SiH3 species than for the SiH2 species. The mass spectrometric analysis revealed that evolution of hydrogen into the gas phase took place prior to that of silicon fluorides. These results strongly suggest that WF6 reacts preferentially with the SiH3 species present in the hydrogen-rich surface layer.

  14. An amorphous phase formation at palladium / silicon oxide (Pd/SiO{sub x}) interface through electron irradiation - electronic excitation process

    SciTech Connect

    Nagase, Takeshi; Yamashita, Ryo; Yabuuchi, Atsushi; Lee, Jung-Goo

    2015-11-15

    A Pd-Si amorphous phase was formed at a palladium/silicon oxide (Pd/SiO{sub x}) interface at room temperature by electron irradiation at acceleration voltages ranging between 25 kV and 200 kV. Solid-state amorphization was stimulated without the electron knock-on effects. The total dose required for the solid-state amorphization decreases with decreasing acceleration voltage. This is the first report on electron irradiation induced metallic amorphous formation caused by the electronic excitation at metal/silicon oxide interface.

  15. The Effects of Hydrogen on the Potential-Energy Surface of Amorphous Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joly, Jean-Francois; Mousseau, Normand

    2012-02-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is an important semiconducting material used in many applications from solar cells to transistors. In 2010, Houssem et al. [1], using the open-ended saddle-point search method, ART nouveau, studied the characteristics of the potential energy landscape of a-Si as a function of relaxation. Here, we extend this study and follow the impact of hydrogen doping on the same a-Si models as a function of doping level. Hydrogen atoms are first attached to dangling bonds, then are positioned to relieve strained bonds of fivefold coordinated silicon atoms. Once these sites are saturated, further doping is achieved with a Monte-Carlo bond switching method that preserves coordination and reduces stress [2]. Bonded interactions are described with a modified Stillinger-Weber potential and non-bonded Si-H and H-H interactions with an adapted Slater-Buckingham potential. Large series of ART nouveau searches are initiated on each model, resulting in an extended catalogue of events that characterize the evolution of potential energy surface as a function of H-doping. [4pt] [1] Houssem et al., Phys Rev. Lett., 105, 045503 (2010)[0pt] [2] Mousseau et al., Phys Rev. B, 41, 3702 (1990)

  16. The performance of an amorphous silicon flat panel for neutron imaging at the PSI NEUTRA facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estermann, Mirko; Frei, Gabriel; Lehmann, Eberhard; Vontobel, Peter

    2005-04-01

    Commonly applied imaging methods in neutron radiography use a CCD camera in conjunction with a scintillator or imaging plates. CCDs and imaging plates have desirable properties concerning resolution, linearity, dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio ( S/ N) but both techniques have the disadvantage of a slow read out and for the CCD camera, an additional disadvantage is the loss of light through the optical system. Amorphous silicon detectors, originally developed for medical and industrial X-ray imaging, generally do not have the above-mentioned disadvantages. These detectors have a much faster readout and, in comparison to the generally used crystalline silicon, can be put directly in the X-ray or neutron beam without being damaged. This type of detector also does not require any optical interface, minimizing possible light loss. The detector is operated at room temperature, which has some influence on the noise. Using the whole dynamic range with a low gain, results in a S/ N of up to 30, for normal applications, however, a S/ N of about 15-20 is typical. The main drawback of this imaging device is the dynamic range of only 12 bits and the relatively complicated operating system in which different operation modes can be chosen. In 2003, successful experiments were performed with this new device, but it is still in its fledgling stages and improvements from the manufacturer as well as the experience from the NEUTRA team will help to advance this technique for neutron imaging in a most efficient way.

  17. Sandwich-lithiation and longitudinal crack in amorphous silicon coated on carbon nanofibers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiang Wei; Liu, Xiao Hua; Zhao, Kejie; Palmer, Andrew; Patten, Erin; Burton, David; Mao, Scott X; Suo, Zhigang; Huang, Jian Yu

    2012-10-23

    Silicon-carbon nanofibers coaxial sponge, with strong mechanical integrity and improved electronic conductivity, is a promising anode structure to apply into commercial high-capacity lithium ion batteries. We characterized the electrochemical and mechanical behaviors of amorphous silicon-coated carbon nanofibers (a-Si/CNFs) with in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was found that lithiation of the a-Si coating layer occurred from the surface and the a-Si/CNF interface concurrently, and propagated toward the center of the a-Si layer. Such a process leads to a sandwiched Li(x)Si/Si/Li(x)Si structure, indicating fast Li transport through the a-Si/CNF interface. Nanocracks and sponge-like structures developed in the a-Si layer during the lithiation-delithiation cycles. Lithiation of the a-Si layer sealed in the hollow CNF was also observed, but at a much lower speed than the counterpart of the a-Si layer coated on the CNF surface. An analytical solution of the stress field was formulated based on the continuum theory of finite deformation, explaining the experimental observation of longitudinal crack formation and general mechanical degradation mechanism in a-Si/CNF electrode.

  18. Microstructure from joint analysis of experimental data and ab initio interactions: Hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Biswas, Parthapratim; Drabold, D. A.; Atta-Fynn, Raymond

    2014-12-28

    A study of the formation of voids and molecular hydrogen in hydrogenated amorphous silicon is presented based upon a hybrid approach that involves inversion of experimental nuclear magnetic resonance data in conjunction with ab initio total-energy relaxations in an augmented solution space. The novelty of this approach is that the voids and molecular hydrogen appear naturally in the model networks unlike conventional approaches, where voids are created artificially by removing silicon atoms from the networks. Two representative models with 16 and 18 at. % of hydrogen are studied in this work. The result shows that the microstructure of the a-Si:H network consists of several microvoids and few molecular hydrogen for concentration above 15 at. % H. The microvoids are highly irregular in shape and size, and have a linear dimension of 5–7 Å. The internal surface of a microvoid is found to be decorated with 4–9 hydrogen atoms in the form of monohydride Si–H configurations as observed in nuclear magnetic resonance experiments. The microstructure consists of (0.9–1.4)% hydrogen molecules of total hydrogen in the networks. These observations are consistent with the outcome of infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and calorimetry experiments.

  19. Band engineering of amorphous silicon ruthenium thin film and its near-infrared absorption enhancement combined with nano-holes pattern on back surface of silicon substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Anran; Zhong, Hao; Li, Wei; Gu, Deen; Jiang, Xiangdong; Jiang, Yadong

    2016-10-01

    Silicon is widely used in semiconductor industry but has poor performance in near-infrared photoelectronic devices because of its bandgap limit. In this study, a narrow bandgap silicon rich semiconductor is achieved by introducing ruthenium (Ru) into amorphous silicon (a-Si) to form amorphous silicon ruthenium (a-Si1-xRux) thin films through co-sputtering. The increase of Ru concentration leads to an enhancement of light absorption and a narrower bandgap. Meanwhile, a specific light trapping technique is employed to realize high absorption of a-Si1-xRux thin film in a finite thickness to avoid unnecessary carrier recombination. A double-layer absorber comprising of a-Si1-xRux thin film and silicon random nano-holes layer is formed on the back surface of silicon substrates, and significantly improves near-infrared absorption while the leaky light intensity is less than 5%. This novel absorber, combining narrow bandgap thin film with light trapping structure, may have a potential application in near-infrared photoelectronic devices.

  20. Amorphous silicon enhanced metal-insulator-semiconductor contacts for silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Bullock, J. Cuevas, A.; Yan, D.; Demaurex, B.; Hessler-Wyser, A.; De Wolf, S.

    2014-10-28

    Carrier recombination at the metal-semiconductor contacts has become a significant obstacle to the further advancement of high-efficiency diffused-junction silicon solar cells. This paper provides the proof-of-concept of a procedure to reduce contact recombination by means of enhanced metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) structures. Lightly diffused n{sup +} and p{sup +} surfaces are passivated with SiO{sub 2}/a-Si:H and Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}/a-Si:H stacks, respectively, before the MIS contacts are formed by a thermally activated alloying process between the a-Si:H layer and an overlying aluminum film. Transmission/scanning transmission electron microscopy (TEM/STEM) and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy are used to ascertain the nature of the alloy. Idealized solar cell simulations reveal that MIS(n{sup +}) contacts, with SiO{sub 2} thicknesses of ∼1.55 nm, achieve the best carrier-selectivity producing a contact resistivity ρ{sub c} of ∼3 mΩ cm{sup 2} and a recombination current density J{sub 0c} of ∼40 fA/cm{sup 2}. These characteristics are shown to be stable at temperatures up to 350 °C. The MIS(p{sup +}) contacts fail to achieve equivalent results both in terms of thermal stability and contact characteristics but may still offer advantages over directly metallized contacts in terms of manufacturing simplicity.

  1. Molybdenum Silicide Formation on Single Crystal, Polycrystalline and Amorphous Silicon: Growth, Structure and Electrical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doland, Charles Michael

    The solid state reactions that occur between a thin metal film and a silicon substrate are of scientific and technological interest. The initial interactions are poorly understood, yet the final state may critically depend on the initial interactions. In this work, the reactions of thin molybdenum films on amorphous, polycrystalline, and single crystal silicon substrates were studied, with an emphasis on the initial interdiffusion and the nucleation of the crystalline silicide phase. Our research was carried out in an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) system in order to minimize effects of contaminants. In situ Raman scattering and Auger electron spectroscopy were used to probe the structure and composition of the films. Electron microscopy, low energy electron diffraction and Schottky barrier height measurements were used to obtain additional information. The hexagonal phase of the disilicide (h-MoSi _2) is the first phase formed. This occurs after 30 minute annealing at 400^ circC on clean samples. Impurities interfere with this reaction, but substrate crystallinity has no effect. The hexagonal phase transforms to the tetragonal phase (t-MoSi_2) after 800 ^circC annealing for all substrate types. Contamination retards this reaction, resulting in films containing both phases. For the thin films in this study, the transformation to t-MoSi_2 is accompanied by agglomeration of the films. From bulk thermodynamics, t-MoSi_2 is expected to be the first phase formed, but h -MoSi_2 is the first phase observed. This phase nucleates before t-MoSi_2, due to a lower silicide-silicon interfacial energy. Detailed knowledge of interfacial energies and effects of impurities are required to understand the initial phases of thin film solid state reactions.

  2. Synthesis of Poly-Silicon Thin Films on Glass Substrate Using Laser Initiated Metal Induced Crystallization of Amorphous Silicon for Space Power Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abu-Safe, Husam H.; Naseem, Hameed A.; Brown, William D.

    2007-01-01

    Poly-silicon thin films on glass substrates are synthesized using laser initiated metal induced crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon films. These films can be used to fabricate solar cells on low cost glass and flexible substrates. The process starts by depositing 200 nm amorphous silicon films on the glass substrates. Following this, 200 nm of sputtered aluminum films were deposited on top of the silicon layers. The samples are irradiated with an argon ion cw laser beam for annealing. Laser power densities ranging from 4 to 9 W/cm2 were used in the annealing process. Each area on the sample is irradiated for a different exposure time. Optical microscopy was used to examine any cracks in the films and loss of adhesion to the substrates. X-Ray diffraction patterns from the initial results indicated the crystallization in the films. Scanning electron microscopy shows dendritic growth. The composition analysis of the crystallized films was conducted using Energy Dispersive x-ray Spectroscopy. The results of poly-silicon films synthesis on space qualified flexible substrates such as Kapton are also presented.

  3. Observation by conductive-probe atomic force microscopy of strongly inverted surface layers at the hydrogenated amorphous silicon/crystalline silicon heterojunctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslova, O. A.; Alvarez, J.; Gushina, E. V.; Favre, W.; Gueunier-Farret, M. E.; Gudovskikh, A. S.; Ankudinov, A. V.; Terukov, E. I.; Kleider, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    Heterojunctions made of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and crystalline silicon (c-Si) are examined by conducting probe atomic force microscopy. Conductive channels at both (n )a-Si:H/(p)c-Si and (p)a-Si:H/(n)c-Si interfaces are clearly revealed. These are attributed to two-dimension electron and hole gases due to strong inversion layers at the c-Si surface in agreement with previous planar conductance measurements. The presence of a hole gas in (p )a-Si:H/(n)c-Si structures implies a quite large valence band offset (EVc-Si-EVa-Si:H>0.25 eV).

  4. Femtosecond laser-controlled self-assembly of amorphous-crystalline nanogratings in silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puerto, Daniel; Garcia-Lechuga, Mario; Hernandez-Rueda, Javier; Garcia-Leis, Adianez; Sanchez-Cortes, Santiago; Solis, Javier; Siegel, Jan

    2016-07-01

    Self-assembly (SA) of molecular units to form regular, periodic extended structures is a powerful bottom-up technique for nanopatterning, inspired by nature. SA can be triggered in all classes of solid materials, for instance, by femtosecond laser pulses leading to the formation of laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) with a period slightly shorter than the laser wavelength. This approach, though, typically involves considerable material ablation, which leads to an unwanted increase of the surface roughness. We present a new strategy to fabricate high-precision nanograting structures in silicon, consisting of alternating amorphous and crystalline lines, with almost no material removal. The strategy can be applied to static irradiation experiments and can be extended into one and two dimensions by scanning the laser beam over the sample surface. We demonstrate that lines and areas with parallel nanofringe patterns can be written by an adequate choice of spot size, repetition rate and scan velocity, keeping a constant effective pulse number (N eff) per area for a given laser wavelength. A deviation from this pulse number leads either to inhomogeneous or ablative structures. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this approach can be used with different laser systems having widely different wavelengths (1030 nm, 800 nm, 400 nm), pulse durations (370 fs, 100 fs) and repetition rates (500 kHz, 100 Hz, single pulse) and that the grating period can also be tuned by changing the angle of laser beam incidence. The grating structures can be erased by irradiation with a single nanosecond laser pulse, triggering recrystallization of the amorphous stripes. Given the large differences in electrical conductivity between the two phases, our structures could find new applications in nanoelectronics.

  5. Optimization of transparent and reflecting electrodes for amorphous silicon solar cells. Annual technical report, April 1, 1995--March 31, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, R.G.; Sato, H.; Liang, H.; Liu, X.; Thornton, J.

    1996-08-01

    The general objective is to develop methods to deposit materials which can be used to make more efficient solar cells. The work is organized into three general tasks: Task 1. Develop improved methods for depositing and using transparent conductors of fluorine-doped zinc oxide in amorphous silicon solar cells Task 2. Deposit and evaluate titanium oxide as a reflection-enhancing diffusion barrier between amorphous silicon and an aluminum or silver back-reflector. Task 3. Deposit and evaluate electrically conductive titanium oxide as a transparent conducting layer on which more efficient and more stable superstrate cells can be deposited. About one-third of the current project resources are allocated to each of these three objectives.

  6. Behavioral data of thin-film single junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic modules under outdoor long term exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kichou, Sofiane; Silvestre, Santiago; Nofuentes, Gustavo; Torres-Ramírez, Miguel; Chouder, Aissa; Guasch, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Four years׳ behavioral data of thin-film single junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic (PV) modules installed in a relatively dry and sunny inland site with a Continental-Mediterranean climate (in the city of Jaén, Spain) are presented in this article. The shared data contributes to clarify how the Light Induced Degradation (LID) impacts the output power generated by the PV array, especially in the first days of exposure under outdoor conditions. Furthermore, a valuable methodology is provided in this data article permitting the assessment of the degradation rate and the stabilization period of the PV modules. Further discussions and interpretations concerning the data shared in this article can be found in the research paper “Characterization of degradation and evaluation of model parameters of amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules under outdoor long term exposure” (Kichou et al., 2016) [1]. PMID:26977439

  7. Behavioral data of thin-film single junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic modules under outdoor long term exposure.

    PubMed

    Kichou, Sofiane; Silvestre, Santiago; Nofuentes, Gustavo; Torres-Ramírez, Miguel; Chouder, Aissa; Guasch, Daniel

    2016-06-01

    Four years׳ behavioral data of thin-film single junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic (PV) modules installed in a relatively dry and sunny inland site with a Continental-Mediterranean climate (in the city of Jaén, Spain) are presented in this article. The shared data contributes to clarify how the Light Induced Degradation (LID) impacts the output power generated by the PV array, especially in the first days of exposure under outdoor conditions. Furthermore, a valuable methodology is provided in this data article permitting the assessment of the degradation rate and the stabilization period of the PV modules. Further discussions and interpretations concerning the data shared in this article can be found in the research paper "Characterization of degradation and evaluation of model parameters of amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules under outdoor long term exposure" (Kichou et al., 2016) [1].

  8. The effect of hydrogen in the mechanism of aluminum-induced crystallization of sputtered amorphous silicon using scanning auger microanalysis

    SciTech Connect

    Hossain, Maruf; Meyer III, Harry M; Abu-Safe, Husam H; Naseem, Hameed; Brown, Walter D

    2006-01-01

    The metal-induced crystallization (MIC) of hydrogenated sputtered amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) using aluminum has been investigated using Xray diffraction (XRD) and scanning Auger microanalysis (SAM). Hydrogenated, as well as non-hydrogenated, amorphous silicon (a-Si) films were sputtered on glass substrates, then capped with a thin layer of Al. Following the depositions, the samples were annealed in the temperature range 200 C to 400 C for varying periods of time. Crystallization of the samples was confirmed by XRD. Non-hydrogenated films started to crystallize at 350 C. On the other hand, crystallization of the samples with the highest hydrogen (H2) content initiated at 225 C. Thus, the crystallization temperature is affected by the H2 content of the a-Si. Material structure following annealing was confirmed by SAM. In this paper, a comprehensive model for MIC of a-Si is developed based on these experimental results.

  9. Enhanced photocurrent in thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells via shape controlled three-dimensional nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Hilali, Mohamed M; Yang, Shuqiang; Miller, Mike; Xu, Frank; Banerjee, Sanjay; Sreenivasan, S V

    2012-10-12

    In this paper, we have explored manufacturable approaches to sub-wavelength controlled three-dimensional (3D) nano-patterns with the goal of significantly enhancing the photocurrent in amorphous silicon solar cells. Here we demonstrate efficiency enhancement of about 50% over typical flat a-Si thin-film solar cells, and report an enhancement of 20% in optical absorption over Asahi textured glass by fabricating sub-wavelength nano-patterned a-Si on glass substrates. External quantum efficiency showed superior results for the 3D nano-patterned thin-film solar cells due to enhancement of broadband optical absorption. The results further indicate that this enhanced light trapping is achieved with minimal parasitic absorption losses in the deposited transparent conductive oxide for the nano-patterned substrate thin-film amorphous silicon solar cell configuration. Optical simulations are in good agreement with experimental results, and also show a significant enhancement in optical absorption, quantum efficiency and photocurrent.

  10. Effect of the femtosecond laser treatment of hydrogenated amorphous silicon films on their structural, optical, and photoelectric properties

    SciTech Connect

    Emelyanov, A. V. Kazanskii, A. G.; Kashkarov, P. K.; Konkov, O. I.; Terukov, E. I.; Forsh, P. A.; Khenkin, M. V.; Kukin, A. V.; Beresna, M.; Kazansky, P.

    2012-06-15

    The effect of the femtosecond laser treatment of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films on their structural, optical, and photoelectric properties is studied. Under the experimental conditions applied in the study, laser treatment of the film with different radiation intensities induces structural changes that are nonuniform over the film surface. An increase in the radiation intensity yields an increase in the contribution of the nanocrystalline phase to the structure, averaged over the sample surface, as well as an increase in the conductance and photoconductance of the samples. At the same time, for all of the samples, the absorption spectrum obtained by the constant-photocurrent method has a shape typical for those of amorphous silicon. Obtained results indicate the possibility of a-Si:H films photoconductance increase by femtosecond pulse laser treatment.

  11. Method for sputtering a PIN amorphous silicon semi-conductor device having partially crystallized P and N-layers

    DOEpatents

    Moustakas, Theodore D.; Maruska, H. Paul

    1985-07-09

    A high efficiency amorphous silicon PIN semiconductor device having partially crystallized (microcrystalline) P and N layers is constructed by the sequential sputtering of N, I and P layers and at least one semi-transparent ohmic electrode. The method of construction produces a PIN device, exhibiting enhanced electrical and optical properties, improved physical integrity, and facilitates the preparation in a singular vacuum system and vacuum pump down procedure.

  12. Thin-film amorphous silicon alloy research partnership, Phase I. Annual technical progress report, February 2, 1995--February 1, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S.

    1996-04-01

    The principal objective of this R&D program is to expand, enhance and accelerate knowledge and capabilities for the development of high-performance, two-terminal multifunction amorphous silicon (a-Si) alloy modules. The near-term goal of the program is to achieve 12% stable module efficiency by 1998 using the multifunction approach. This report describes research on back reflectors of Ag/TiO{sub 2}/ZnO.

  13. Increased Stabilized Performance Of Amorphous Silicon Based Devices Produced By Highly Hydrogen Diluted Lower Temperature Plasma Deposition.

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yaun-Min; Bennett, Murray S.; Yang, Liyou

    1997-07-08

    High quality, stable photovoltaic and electronic amorphous silicon devices which effectively resist light-induced degradation and current-induced degradation, are produced by a special plasma deposition process. Powerful, efficient single and multi-junction solar cells with high open circuit voltages and fill factors and with wider bandgaps, can be economically fabricated by the special plasma deposition process. The preferred process includes relatively low temperature, high pressure, glow discharge of silane in the presence of a high concentration of hydrogen gas.

  14. Increasing Stabilized Performance Of Amorphous Silicon Based Devices Produced By Highly Hydrogen Diluted Lower Temperature Plasma Deposition.

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yaun-Min; Bennett, Murray S.; Yang, Liyou

    1999-08-24

    High quality, stable photovoltaic and electronic amorphous silicon devices which effectively resist light-induced degradation and current-induced degradation, are produced by a special plasma deposition process. Powerful, efficient single and multi-junction solar cells with high open circuit voltages and fill factors and with wider bandgaps, can be economically fabricated by the special plasma deposition process. The preferred process includes relatively low temperature, high pressure, glow discharge of silane in the presence of a high concentration of hydrogen gas.

  15. Flexible Electronics: High Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Films and Solar Cells (Adv. Mater. 28/2016).

    PubMed

    He, Rongrui; Day, Todd D; Sparks, Justin R; Sullivan, Nichole F; Badding, John V

    2016-07-01

    On page 5939, J. V. Badding and co-workers describe the unrolling of a flexible hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cell, deposited by high-pressure chemical vapor deposition. The high-pressure deposition process is represented by the molecules of silane infiltrating the small voids between the rolled up substrate, facilitating plasma-free deposition over a very large area. The high-pressure approach is expected to also find application for 3D nanoarchitectures.

  16. Morphology and Number Density of Voids in Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon: An Ab Initio Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biswas, Parthapratim; Paudel, Durga; Atta-Fynn, Raymond; Drabold, David A.; Elliott, Stephen R.

    2017-02-01

    We present a first-principles study of the formation and structure of microvoids in device-quality models of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a -Si ∶H ). Using a combination of classical metadynamics and first-principles density-functional calculations, which is capable of generating large a -Si ∶H models with a linear size of several nanometers and a realistic hydrogen distribution, we examine the morphology and compute the number density of microvoids at low and high concentrations of hydrogen. The results of our calculations are compared with experimental data from small-angle x-ray scattering and hydrogen and implanted-helium effusion measurements. Our study suggests that the number density of microvoids is of the order of (7 - 8 )×1018 cm-3 for device-quality models with (8-10)-at. % H, and which increases to (1 - 3 )×1019 cm-3 with an increase of hydrogen content to 18 at. %. We find the morphology of the microvoids to be highly complex with a radius of gyration varying from 2.7 to 5.0 Å for very large models. The spatial distributions of microvoids at low and high concentrations are strongly influenced by the presence of isolated and interconnected voids, respectively, which are consistent with the results from hydrogen and implanted-helium effusion measurements. The simulation methodology and results presented here have direct applications in large-scale modeling of a -Si ∶H /c -Si heterojunctions with intrinsic thin-layer technology for the development of next-generation silicon solar cells and resistive switching mechanisms in ultra-low-power nonvolatile memory devices, such as chalcogenide- or oxide-based conductive bridging random-access-memory devices.

  17. Microstructures of the silicon carbide nanowires obtained by annealing the mechanically-alloyed amorphous powders

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Pengfei Li, Xinli

    2015-07-15

    Silicon, graphite and boron nitride powders were mechanically alloyed for 40 h in argon. The as-milled powders were annealed at 1700 °C in nitrogen for 30 min. The annealed powders are covered by a thick layer of gray–green SiC nanowires, which are 300 nm to 1000 nm in diameter and several hundred microns in length. Trace iron in the raw powders acts as a catalyst, promoting the V–L–S process. It follows that the actual substances contributing to the growth of the SiC nanowires may be silicon, graphite and the metal impurities in the raw powders. The results from HRTEM and XRD reveal that the products contain both straight α/β-SiC nanowires and nodular α/β-SiC nanochains. It is interestingly found that 6H–SiC coexists with 3C–SiC in one nodular nanowire. This novel structure may introduce periodic potential field along the longitudinal direction of the nanowires, and may find applications in the highly integrated optoelectronic devices. - Graphical abstract: Display Omitted - Highlights: • SiC nanowires were prepared by annealing the mechanically alloyed amorphous powders. • SiC nanowires are 300 nm to 1000 nm in diameter and several hundred microns in length. • The products contain both straight α/β-SiC nanowires and nodular α/β-SiC nanochains. • Trace Fe in the raw powders acts as a catalyst, promoting the V–L–S process. • 6H–SiC coexists with 3C–SiC in one nodular SiC nanowire.

  18. Laser annealing and simulation of amorphous silicon thin films for solar cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodorakos, I.; Raptis, Y. S.; Vamvakas, V.; Tsoukalas, D.; Zergioti, I.

    2014-03-01

    In this work, a picosecond DPSS and a nanosecond Nd:YAG laser have been used for the annealing and the partial nanocrystallization of an amorphous silicon layer. These experiments were conducted in order to improve the characteristics of a micromorph tandem solar cell. The laser annealing was attempted at 1064nm in order to obtain the desired crystallization's depth and ratios. Preliminary annealing-processes, with different annealing parameters, have been tested, such as fluence, repetition rate and number of pulses. Irradiations were applied in the sub-melt regime, in order to prevent significant diffusion of p- and n-dopants to take place within the structure. The laser experimental work was combined with simulations of the laser annealing process, in terms of temperature distribution evolution, using the Synopsys Sentaurus Process TCAD software. The optimum annealing conditions for the two different pulse durations were determined. Experimentally determined optical properties of our samples, such as the absorption coefficient and reflectivity, were used for a more realistic simulation. From the simulations results, a temperature profile, appropriate to yield the desired recrystallization was obtained for the case of ps pulses, which was verified from the experimental results described below. The annealed material was studied, as far as it concerns its structural properties, by XRD, SEM and micro-Raman techniques, providing consistent information on the characteristics of the nanocrystalline material produced by the laser annealing experiments. It was found that, with the use of ps pulses, the resultant polycrystalline region shows crystallization's ratios similar to a PECVD developed poly-Silicon layer, with slightly larger nanocrystallite's size.

  19. Thermal and Cold Neutron Computed Tomography at the Los Alamos Neutron Scattering Center Using an Amorphous Silicon Detector Array

    SciTech Connect

    Claytor, T.N.; Schwab, M.J.; Farnum, E.H.; McDonald, T.E.; Summa, D.A.; Sheats, M.J.; Stupin, D.M.; Sievers, W.L.

    1998-07-19

    The use of the EG and G-Heimann RTM 128 or dpiX FS20 amorphous silicon (a-Si) detector array for thermal neutron radiography/computed tomography has proven to be a quick and efficient means of producing high quality digital radiographic images. The resolution, although not as good as film, is about 750 pm with the RTM and 127 pm with the dpiX array with a dynamic range in excess of 2,800. In many respects using an amorphous silicon detector is an improvement over other techniques such as imaging with a CCD camera, using a storage phosphor plate or film radiography. Unlike a CCD camera, which is highly susceptible to radiation damage, a-Si detectors can be placed in the beam directly behind the object under examination and do not require any special optics or turning mirrors. The amorphous silicon detector also allows enough data to be acquired to construct a digital image in just a few seconds (minimum gate time 40 ms) whereas film or storage plate exposures can take many minutes and then need to be digitized with a scanner. The flat panel can therefore acquire a complete 3D computed tomography data set in just a few tens of minutes. While a-Si detectors have been proposed for use in imaging neutron beams, this is the first reported implementation of such a detector for neutron imaging.

  20. Morphological and Chemical Analysis Of Degraded Single Junction Amorphous Silicon Module.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osayemwenre, Gilbert; Meyer, Edson; Mamphweli, Sampson

    2017-01-01

    Photovoltaic solar modules have different defects and degradation characteristic modes. These defects/degradation modes normally heats up some regions in the PV module, depending on the degree and size of the localised heat or hot spot, the localized heat can rise above the temperature limit of the module thereby cause damage to the structural orientation. The presence of severe defect and degradation correlates with high temperature gradients that usually results in morphological damage especially under outdoor conditions. The present study investigates the effect of defect/degradation on the surface morphology of the single junction amorphous silicon modules (a-Si:H) during outdoor deployment. The observed structural damage was analysed using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersion X-ray (EDX) to ascertain the elemental composition. Results show huge discrepancies in the chemical composition constitute alone different regions. The presence of high concentration of carbon and oxygen was found in the affected region. The authors sincerely thank GMDRC University of Fort Hare for financial support. The authors also wish to thank Eskom for financing this project.

  1. Amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules and test devices design, fabrication and testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanleeuwen, M.

    1985-01-01

    In July of 1984, Hughes and JPL initiated a contract for Hughes to design, fabricate and test 10 thin film Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic power modules. These modules were to be 1 ft x 4 ft in size. They were to be preceded by the delivery of 10 a-Si 4 in. square test devices. This effort is very timely since thin film PV development has progressed to the point where intermediate load power applications are on the horizon. It is important to know if current a-Si submodule design and manufacturing processes yield a product that is compatible with the packaging needed to meet a 20 to 30 year life span expectancy. The term submodule is assigned to an interconnected assembly of 28 a-Si cells deposited on a 1 foot square glass superstrate. These assemblies are equipped with electrical terminations, i.e., copper tabs at the four corners of the inverted submodules. It is these submodules that are to be interconnected and packaged into power modules, as opposed to the interconnected individual crystalline cells packaged into todays PV modules. A discussion of the fabrication methods and results follows.

  2. Synchrotron radiation photoemission study of metal overlayers on hydrogenated amorphous silicon at room temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Pi, J.

    1990-09-21

    In this dissertation, metals deposited on a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) film at room temperature are studied. The purpose of this work is mainly understanding the electronic properties of the interface, using high-resolution synchrotron radiation photoemission techniques as a probe. Atomic hydrogen plays an important role in passivating dangling bonds of a-Si:H films, thus reducing the gap-state distribution. In addition, singly bonded hydrogen also reduces states at the top of the valence band which are now replaced by deeper Si-H bonding states. The interface is formed by evaporating metal on an a-Si:H film in successive accumulations at room temperature. Au, Ag, and Cr were chosen as the deposited metals. Undoped films were used as substrates. Since some unique features can be found in a-Si:H, such as surface enrichment of hydrogen diffused from the bulk and instability of the free surface, we do not expect the metals/a-Si:H interface to behave exactly as its crystalline counterpart. Metal deposits, at low coverages, are found to gather preferentially around regions deficient in hydrogen. As the thickness is increased, some Si atoms in those regions are likely to leave their sites to intermix with metal overlayers like Au and Cr. 129 refs., 30 figs.

  3. Local Motion of Hydrogen in Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon: An NMR Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hari, P.; Taylor, P. C.; Street, R. A.

    1996-03-01

    Motion of hydrogen in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) has been probed on length scales of a few angstroms using dipolar spin-lattice relaxation time (T_1D) measurements(P. Hari, P. C. Taylor and R. A. Street, MRS Symp. Proc. 336, 326 (1994).) of ^1H. Variations of T_1D with n- and p-type doping reveal trends similar those that occur in the macroscopic diffusion constants measured using secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS). The variations of T_1D with temperature indicate that, if the local motion is thermally activated, then the activation energies are at least an order of magnitude less than those measured by SIMS. If "diffusion constants" are inferred from the T_1D measurements, then they are many orders of magnitude faster than those measured by SIMS. The SIMS measurements are made after annealing at elevated temperatures (T greater than 500 K) for many hours or days, while the T_1D measurements are made on the sample at temperatures near or below 300 K. Possible microscopic mechanisms to explain the T_1D results will be discussed and compared with those models proposed to explain the SIMS data.

  4. The boron-tailing myth in hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Stuckelberger, M. Bugnon, G.; Despeisse, M.; Schüttauf, J.-W.; Haug, F.-J.; Ballif, C.; Park, B.-S.

    2015-11-16

    The boron-tailing effect in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells describes the reduced charge collection specifically in the blue part of the spectrum for absorber layers deposited above a critical temperature. This effect limits the device performance of state-of-the art solar cells: For enhanced current density (reduced bandgap), the deposition temperature should be as high as possible, but boron tailing gets detrimental above 200 °C. To investigate this limitation and to show potential paths to overcome it, we deposited high-efficiency a-Si:H solar cells, varying the deposition temperatures of the p-type and the intrinsic absorber (i) layers between 150 and 250 °C. Using secondary ion mass spectroscopy, we study dedicated stacks of i-p-i layers deposited at different temperatures. This allows us to track boron diffusion at the p-i and i-p interfaces as they occur in the p-i-n and n-i-p configurations of a-Si:H solar cells for different deposition conditions. Finally, we prove step-by-step that the common explanation for boron tailing—boron diffusion from the p layer into the i layer leading to enhanced recombination—is not generally true and propose an alternative explanation for the experimentally observed drop in the external quantum efficiency at short wavelengths.

  5. Field collapse due to band-tail charge in amorphous silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Qi; Crandall, R.S.; Schiff, E.A.

    1996-05-01

    It is common for the fill factor to decrease with increasing illumination intensity in hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells. This is especially critical for thicker solar cells, because the decrease is more severe than in thinner cells. Usually, the fill factor under uniformly absorbed red light changes much more than under strongly absorbed blue light. The cause of this is usually assumed to arise from space charge trapped in deep defect states. The authors model this behavior of solar cells using the Analysis of Microelectronic and Photonic Structures (AMPS) simulation program. The simulation shows that the decrease in fill factor is caused by photogenerated space charge trapped in the band-tail states rather than in defects. This charge screens the applied field, reducing the internal field. Owing to its lower drift mobility, the space charge due to holes exceeds that due to electrons and is the main cause of the field screening. The space charge in midgap states is small compared with that in the tails and can be ignored under normal solar-cell operating conditions. Experimentally, the authors measured the photocapacitance as a means to probe the collapsed field. They also explored the light intensity dependence of photocapacitance and explain the decrease of FF with the increasing light intensity.

  6. Effective interface state effects in hydrogenated amorphous-crystalline silicon heterostructures using ultraviolet laser photocarrier radiometry

    SciTech Connect

    Melnikov, A.; Mandelis, A.; Halliop, B.; Kherani, N. P.

    2013-12-28

    Ultraviolet photocarrier radiometry (UV-PCR) was used for the characterization of thin-film (nanolayer) intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (i-a-Si:H) on c-Si. The small absorption depth (approximately 10 nm at 355 nm laser excitation) leads to strong influence of the nanolayer parameters on the propagation and recombination of the photocarrier density wave (CDW) within the layer and the substrate. A theoretical PCR model including the presence of effective interface carrier traps was developed and used to evaluate the transport parameters of the substrate c-Si as well as those of the i-a-Si:H nanolayer. Unlike conventional optoelectronic characterization methods such as photoconductance, photovoltage, and photoluminescence, UV-PCR can be applied to more complete quantitative characterization of a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction solar cells, including transport properties and defect structures. The quantitative results elucidate the strong effect of a front-surface passivating nanolayer on the transport properties of the entire structure as the result of effective a-Si:H/c-Si interface trap neutralization through occupation. A further dramatic improvement of those properties with the addition of a back-surface passivating nanolayer is observed and interpreted as the result of the interaction of the increased excess bulk CDW with, and more complete occupation and neutralization of, effective front interface traps.

  7. Electron cyclotron resonance deposition of amorphous silicon alloy films and devices

    SciTech Connect

    Shing, Y.H. )

    1992-10-01

    This report describes work to develop a state-of-the-art electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) system. The objective was to understand the deposition processes of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and related alloys, with a best-effort improvement of optoelectronic material properties and best-effort stabilization of solar cell performance. ECR growth parameters were systematically and extensively investigated; materials characterization included constant photocurrent measurement (CPM), junction capacitance, drive-level capacitance profiling (DLCP), optical transmission, light and dark photoconductivity, and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Conventional ECR-deposited a-Si:H was compared to a new form, a-Si:(Xe, H), in which xenon gas was added to the ECR plasma. a-Si:(Xe,H) possessed low, stable dark conductivities and high photosensitivites. Light-soaking revealed photodegradation rates about 35% lower than those of comparable radio frequency (rf)-deposited material. ECR-deposited p-type a SiC:H and intrinsic a-Si:H films underwent evaluation as components of p-i-n solar cells with standard rf films for the remaining layers.

  8. 25th anniversary article: organic field-effect transistors: the path beyond amorphous silicon.

    PubMed

    Sirringhaus, Henning

    2014-03-05

    Over the past 25 years, organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) have witnessed impressive improvements in materials performance by 3-4 orders of magnitude, and many of the key materials discoveries have been published in Advanced Materials. This includes some of the most recent demonstrations of organic field-effect transistors with performance that clearly exceeds that of benchmark amorphous silicon-based devices. In this article, state-of-the-art in OFETs are reviewed in light of requirements for demanding future applications, in particular active-matrix addressing for flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. An overview is provided over both small molecule and conjugated polymer materials for which field-effect mobilities exceeding > 1 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) have been reported. Current understanding is also reviewed of their charge transport physics that allows reaching such unexpectedly high mobilities in these weakly van der Waals bonded and structurally comparatively disordered materials with a view towards understanding the potential for further improvement in performance in the future.

  9. 10.5% efficient polymer and amorphous silicon hybrid tandem photovoltaic cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jeehwan; Hong, Ziruo; Li, Gang; Song, Tze-Bin; Chey, Jay; Lee, Yun Seog; You, Jingbi; Chen, Chun-Chao; Sadana, Devendra K.; Yang, Yang

    2015-03-01

    Thin-film solar cells made with amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) or organic semiconductors are considered as promising renewable energy sources due to their low manufacturing cost and light weight. However, the efficiency of single-junction a-Si:H or organic solar cells is typically <10%, insufficient for achieving grid parity. Here we demonstrate an efficient double-junction photovoltaic cell by employing an a-Si:H film as a front sub-cell and a low band gap polymer:fullerene blend film as a back cell on planar glass substrates. Monolithic integration of 6.0% efficienct a-Si:H and 7.5% efficient polymer:fullerene blend solar cells results in a power conversion efficiency of 10.5%. Such high-efficiency thin-film tandem cells can be achieved by optical management and interface engineering of fully optimized high-performance front and back cells without sacrificing photovoltaic performance in both cells.

  10. Optically activated sub-millimeter dielectric relaxation in amorphous thin film silicon at room temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Rahman, Rezwanur; Ohno, Tim R.; Taylor, P. C.; Scales, John A.

    2014-05-05

    Knowing the frequency-dependent photo-induced complex conductivity of thin films is useful in the design of photovoltaics and other semi-conductor devices. For example, annealing in the far-infrared could in principle be tailored to the specific dielectric properties of a particular sample. The frequency dependence of the conductivity (whether dark or photo-induced) also gives insight into the effective dimensionality of thin films (via the phonon density of states) as well as the presence (or absence) of free carriers, dopants, defects, etc. Ultimately, our goal is to make low-noise, phase-sensitive room temperature measurements of the frequency-dependent conductivity of thin films from microwave frequencies into the far-infrared; covering, the frequency range from ionic and dipole relaxation to atomic and electronic processes. To this end, we have developed a high-Q (quality factor) open cavity resonator capable of resolving the complex conductivity of sub-micron films in the range of 100–350 GHz (0.1–0.35 THz, or 0.4–1 meV). In this paper, we use a low-power green laser to excite bound charges in high-resistivity amorphous silicon thin film. Even at room temperature, we can resolve both the dark conductivity and photo-induced changes associated with dielectric relaxation and possibly some small portion of free carriers.

  11. The boron-tailing myth in hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuckelberger, M.; Park, B.-S.; Bugnon, G.; Despeisse, M.; Schüttauf, J.-W.; Haug, F.-J.; Ballif, C.

    2015-11-01

    The boron-tailing effect in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells describes the reduced charge collection specifically in the blue part of the spectrum for absorber layers deposited above a critical temperature. This effect limits the device performance of state-of-the art solar cells: For enhanced current density (reduced bandgap), the deposition temperature should be as high as possible, but boron tailing gets detrimental above 200 °C. To investigate this limitation and to show potential paths to overcome it, we deposited high-efficiency a-Si:H solar cells, varying the deposition temperatures of the p-type and the intrinsic absorber (i) layers between 150 and 250 °C. Using secondary ion mass spectroscopy, we study dedicated stacks of i-p-i layers deposited at different temperatures. This allows us to track boron diffusion at the p-i and i-p interfaces as they occur in the p-i-n and n-i-p configurations of a-Si:H solar cells for different deposition conditions. Finally, we prove step-by-step that the common explanation for boron tailing—boron diffusion from the p layer into the i layer leading to enhanced recombination—is not generally true and propose an alternative explanation for the experimentally observed drop in the external quantum efficiency at short wavelengths.

  12. Thermal model for breakdown in p-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon films with coplanar electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avila, A.; Asomoza, R.

    2000-09-01

    p-Type glow discharge hydrogenated amorphous silicon films with nearly placed (˜5 μm) coplanar metallic electrodes were led to breakdown under the effect of voltage bias. Non-ohmicity in the I- V plot was analyzed in order to look for the transport mechanism helping to produce breakdown in the films. A thermal model is shown to fit reasonably the electrical behavior of samples prior to breakdown. Two parts are developed in this approximation: the first one assumes that during the initial homogeneous heating of the semiconductor due to Joule effect, stationary states are reached. The heat is assumed to dissipate from the metallic contacts through a Newton's convection mechanism. From the experimental data and the model proposed, the I- V plot is fitted, the heat transfer area and constant are calculated and the temperature-voltage plot is determined. In the second part, the heat conduction equation along the distance between the contacts is numerically solved in one dimension with this information. The result provides an estimate of the time required by the sample to reach a certain steady-state limiting temperature above which much faster heating produces breakdown. This time correlates well to the delay time reported in the literature.

  13. Instability measurements in amorphous hydrogenated silicon using capacitance-voltage techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, S.; Flewitt, A. J.; Milne, W. I.; Robertson, J.

    2005-05-01

    In the field of flat panel displays, the current leading technology is the active matrix liquid-crystal display; this uses an amorphous hydrogen silicon (a-Si:H) based thin-film transistors (TFTs) as the switching element in each pixel. However, under gate bias a-Si :H TFTs suffer from instability, as is evidenced by a shift in the gate threshold voltage. The shift in the gate threshold voltage is generally measured from the gate transfer characteristics, after subjecting the TFT to prolonged gate bias. However, a major drawback of this measurement method is that it cannot distinguish whether the shift is caused by the change in the midgap states in the a-Si :H channel or by charge trapping in the gate insulator. In view of this, we have developed a capacitance-voltage method to measure the shift in threshold voltage. We employ metal-insulator-semiconductor structures to investigate the threshold voltage shift as they are simpler to fabricate than TFTs.

  14. In vivo Characterization of Amorphous Silicon Carbide As a Biomaterial for Chronic Neural Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Knaack, Gretchen L; McHail, Daniel G; Borda, German; Koo, Beomseo; Peixoto, Nathalia; Cogan, Stuart F; Dumas, Theodore C; Pancrazio, Joseph J

    2016-01-01

    Implantable microelectrode arrays (MEAs) offer clinical promise for prosthetic devices by enabling restoration of communication and control of artificial limbs. While proof-of-concept recordings from MEAs have been promising, work in animal models demonstrates that the obtained signals degrade over time. Both material robustness and tissue response are acknowledged to have a role in device lifetime. Amorphous Silicon carbide (a-SiC), a robust material that is corrosion resistant, has emerged as an alternative encapsulation layer for implantable devices. We systematically examined the impact of a-SiC coating on Si probes by immunohistochemical characterization of key markers implicated in tissue-device response. After implantation, we performed device capture immunohistochemical labeling of neurons, astrocytes, and activated microglia/macrophages after 4 and 8 weeks of implantation. Neuron loss and microglia activation were similar between Si and a-SiC coated probes, while tissue implanted with a-SiC displayed a reduction in astrocytes adjacent to the probe. These results suggest that a-SiC has a similar biocompatibility profile as Si, and may be suitable for implantable MEA applications as a hermetic coating to prevent material degradation.

  15. Morphological and Chemical Analysis of Degraded Single Junction Amorphous Silicon Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osayemwenre, Gilbert

    2015-03-01

    Photovoltaic solar modules have different defects and degradation characteristic modes. These defects/degradation modes normally heats up some regions in the PV module, depending on the degree and size of the localised heat or hot spot, the localized heat can rise above the temperature limit of the module thereby cause damage to the structural orientation. The presence of severe defect and degradation correlates with high temperature gradients that usually results in morphological damage especially under outdoor conditions. The present study investigates the effect of defect/degradation on the surface morphology of the single junction amorphous silicon modules (a-Si:H) during outdoor deployment. The observed structural damage was analysed using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersion X-ray (EDX) to ascertain the elemental composition. Results show huge discrepancies in the chemical composition constitute alone different regions. The presence of high concentration of carbon and oxygen was found in the affected region. We sincerely thank GMDRC and Eskom for financing this project.

  16. Low-temperature high-mobility amorphous IZO for silicon heterojunction solar cells

    DOE PAGES

    Morales-Masis, Monica; Martin De Nicolas, Silvia; Holovsky, Jakub; ...

    2015-07-13

    Parasitic absorption in the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) front electrode is one of the limitations of silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells efficiency. To avoid such absorption while retaining high conductivity, TCOs with high electron mobility are preferred over those with high carrier density. Here, we demonstrate improved SHJ solar cell efficiencies by applying high-mobility amorphous indium zinc oxide (a-IZO) as the front TCO. We sputtered a-IZO at low substrate temperature and low power density and investigated the optical and electrical properties, as well as subband tail formation-quantified by the Urbach energy (EU)-as a function of the sputtering oxygen partial pressure.more » We obtain an EU as low as 128 meV for films with the highest Hall mobility of 60 cm2/Vs. When comparing the performance of a-IZO films with indium tin oxide (ITO) and hydrogenated indium oxide (IO:H), we find that IO:H (115 cm2/Vs) exhibits a similar EU of 130 meV, while ITO (25 cm2/Vs) presents a much larger EU of up to 270 meV. The high film quality, indicated by the low EU, the high mobility, and low free carrier absorption of the developed a-IZO electrodes, result in a significant current improvement, achieving conversion efficiencies over 21.5%, outperforming those with standard ITO.« less

  17. Triple-Junction Hybrid Tandem Solar Cells with Amorphous Silicon and Polymer-Fullerene Blends

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Taehee; Kim, Hyeok; Park, Jinjoo; Kim, Hyungchae; Yoon, Youngwoon; Kim, Sung-Min; Shin, Chonghoon; Jung, Heesuk; Kim, Inho; Jeong, Doo Seok; Kim, Honggon; Kim, Jin Young; Kim, BongSoo; Ko, Min Jae; Son, Hae Jung; Kim, Changsoon; Yi, Junsin; Han, Seunghee; Lee, Doh-Kwon

    2014-01-01

    Organic-inorganic hybrid tandem solar cells attract a considerable amount of attention due to their potential for realizing high efficiency photovoltaic devices at a low cost. Here, highly efficient triple-junction (TJ) hybrid tandem solar cells consisting of a double-junction (DJ) amorphous silicon (a-Si) cell and an organic photovoltaic (OPV) rear cell were developed. In order to design the TJ device in a logical manner, a simulation was carried out based on optical absorption and internal quantum efficiency. In the TJ architecture, the high-energy photons were utilized in a more efficient way than in the previously reported a-Si/OPV DJ devices, leading to a significant improvement in the overall efficiency by means of a voltage gain. The interface engineering such as tin-doped In2O3 deposition as an interlayer and its UV-ozone treatment resulted in the further improvement in the performance of the TJ solar cells. As a result, a power conversion efficiency of 7.81% was achieved with an open-circuit voltage of 2.35 V. The wavelength-resolved absorption profile provides deeper insight into the detailed optical response of the TJ hybrid solar cells. PMID:25412648

  18. Direct Transformation of Amorphous Silicon Carbide into Graphene under Low Temperature and Ambient Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Tao; Lv, Haifeng; He, Daping; Pan, Mu; Mu, Shichun

    2013-01-01

    A large-scale availability of the graphene is critical to the successful application of graphene-based electronic devices. The growth of epitaxial graphene (EG) on insulating silicon carbide (SiC) surfaces has opened a new promising route for large-scale high-quality graphene production. However, two key obstacles to epitaxial growth are extremely high requirements for almost perfectly ordered crystal SiC and harsh process conditions. Here, we report that the amorphous SiC (a-Si1−xCx) nano-shell (nano-film) can be directly transformed into graphene by using chlorination method under very mild reaction conditions of relative low temperature (800°C) and the ambient pressure in chlorine (Cl2) atmosphere. Therefore, our finding, the direct transformation of a-Si1−xCx into graphene under much milder condition, will open a door to apply this new method to the large-scale production of graphene at low costs. PMID:23359349

  19. 10.5% efficient polymer and amorphous silicon hybrid tandem photovoltaic cell.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeehwan; Hong, Ziruo; Li, Gang; Song, Tze-bin; Chey, Jay; Lee, Yun Seog; You, Jingbi; Chen, Chun-Chao; Sadana, Devendra K; Yang, Yang

    2015-03-04

    Thin-film solar cells made with amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) or organic semiconductors are considered as promising renewable energy sources due to their low manufacturing cost and light weight. However, the efficiency of single-junction a-Si:H or organic solar cells is typically <10%, insufficient for achieving grid parity. Here we demonstrate an efficient double-junction photovoltaic cell by employing an a-Si:H film as a front sub-cell and a low band gap polymer:fullerene blend film as a back cell on planar glass substrates. Monolithic integration of 6.0% efficienct a-Si:H and 7.5% efficient polymer:fullerene blend solar cells results in a power conversion efficiency of 10.5%. Such high-efficiency thin-film tandem cells can be achieved by optical management and interface engineering of fully optimized high-performance front and back cells without sacrificing photovoltaic performance in both cells.

  20. Diffusion mechanism of hydrogen in amorphous silicon - Ab initio molecular dynamics simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Y.-S.; Pantelides, S. T.

    2001-03-01

    Diffusion of hydrogen in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is an important process, but the mechanism is still not well understood and even controversial. The observed activation energy is only about 1.5 eV, whereas the energy to dissociate Si-H bonds is much larger ( 2.5 eV). H is generally believed to migrate as an interstitial, perhaps as in crystalline Si. We report first-principles density-functional molecular dynamics simulations and identify a wealth of processes that occur. The main mechanism for the release of H from Si-H bonds is the conversion of the Si atom to fivefold coordination by the arrival of a floating bond, as suggested by one of us (STP, Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1344 (1987)) but the H atom is not released in the interstitial regions. Migration occurs by a bond-interconversion process, with the H atom acting as the analog of a floating bond. Estimates of the diffusion constant are in agreement with observations. Work supported in part by NSF.

  1. Improvement of small-area, amorphous-silicon thin-film photovoltaics on polymer substrate

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, M.F. . Applied Technologies Lab.)

    1990-02-01

    This report describes a contract to produce, using roll-to-roll deposition on polyamide substrate, a small-area amorphous-silicon p-i-n photovoltaic (PV) cell with an energy conversion efficiency of 10% under air mass 1.5 insolation. Three improvements were attempted to achieve this goal: (1) zinc oxide, a transparent conducting oxide, was used as a top contact; the zinc oxide conductivity was improved to 8--9 ohms/square sheet resistance with less than 8% average optical absorption. (2) The red light response was improved with dielectric enhanced metal reflecting electrodes, which increased the short-circuit current density by more than 1 mA/Cm{sup 2}; a three-layer dielectric mirror coating was also designed that can increase the current density by another 1 mA/cm{sup 2}. (3) Improving the fill factor of the n-i-p (reverse structured) devices was also achieved in a multichamber deposition system. The overall energy conversion efficiency of the PV cell was 8.36%. Major obstacles to higher efficiencies are (1) controlling the thin-film defects that cause electrical shunts in devices fabricated on enhanced reflection electrodes, and (2) controlling impurities and introducing dopant profiles near the p/i interface in a continuous web deposition system.

  2. Improvement of small-area, amorphous-silicon thin-film photovoltaics on polymer substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Michael F.

    1990-02-01

    This report describes a contract to produce, using roll-to-roll deposition on polyamide substrate, a small-area amorphous-silicon p-i-n photovoltaic (PV) cell with an energy conversion efficiency of 10 percent under air mass 1.5 insolation. Three improvements were attempted to achieve this goal: (1) zinc oxide, a transparent conducting oxide, was used as a top contact; the zinc oxide conductivity was improved to 8 to 9 ohms/square sheet resistance with less than 8 percent average optical absorption, (2) the red light response was improved with dielectric enhanced metal reflecting electrodes, which increased the short-circuit current density by more than 1 mA/sq cm; a three-layer dielectric mirror coating was also designed that can increase the current density by another 1 mA/sq cm, and (3) improving the fill factor of the n-i-p (reverse structured) devices was also achieved in a multichamber deposition system. The overall energy conversion efficiency of the PV cell was 8.36 percent. Major obstacles to higher efficiencies are: (1) controlling the thin-film defects that cause electrical shunts in devices fabricated on enhanced reflection electrodes, and (2) controlling impurities and introducing dopant profiles near the p/i interface in a continuous web deposition system.

  3. Efficient nanorod-based amorphous silicon solar cells with advanced light trapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuang, Y.; van Lare, M. C.; Veldhuizen, L. W.; Polman, A.; Rath, J. K.; Schropp, R. E. I.

    2015-11-01

    We present a simple, low-cost, and scalable approach for the fabrication of efficient nanorod-based solar cells. Templates with arrays of self-assembled ZnO nanorods with tunable morphology are synthesized by chemical bath deposition using a low process temperature at 80 °C. The nanorod templates are conformally coated with hydrogenated amorphous silicon light absorber layers of 100 nm and 200 nm thickness. An initial efficiency of up to 9.0% is achieved for the optimized design. External quantum efficiency measurements on the nanorod cells show a substantial photocurrent enhancement both in the red and the blue parts of the solar spectrum. Key insights in the light trapping mechanisms in these arrays are obtained via a combination of three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain simulations, optical absorption, and external quantum efficiency measurements. Front surface patterns enhance the light incoupling in the blue, while rear side patterns lead to enhanced light trapping in the red. The red response in the nanorod cells is limited by absorption in the patterned Ag back contact. With these findings, we develop and experimentally realize a further advanced design with patterned front and back sides while keeping the Ag reflector flat, showing significantly enhanced scattering from the back reflector with reduced parasitic absorption in the Ag and thus higher photocurrent generation. Many of the findings in this work can serve to provide insights for further optimization of nanostructures for thin-film solar cells in a broad range of materials.

  4. The Electrical and Structural analysis of degraded Single Junction Amorphous Silicon Solar Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osayemwenre, Gilbert; Energy efficiency Team

    2015-03-01

    This paper outline a systematic approach used in evaluating the quality, performance and reliability of single junction amorphous silicon solar modules (a-Si:H). The analytical techniques include an electrical and structural analysis. These techniques were used to obtain a holistic view of the state of affairs of these readily available PV modules for small stand-alone systems. Specifically, current-voltage (I-V) characterization and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) will be presented as diagnostic tools in this article. The SEM (JEOL, JED-2300) was used to study the surface morphology of the affected region, results show structural damage in the affected regions. The experiment shows that the energy output of the modules varies a degradation variation of 2.5% to 25.7%, was observed. The detailed results will be presented in the final paper. In conclusion, this research established the degradation which occurs and correlate it to the morphological damage. The module with the worst case scenario has an efficiency of 59% decrease, this could be unacceptable in a device where stability is of priority. We sincerely thank GMDRC and Eskom for financing this project.

  5. Effect of ultraviolet light exposure to boron doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon oxide thin film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baek, Seungsin; Iftiquar, S. M.; Jang, Juyeon; Lee, Sunhwa; Kim, Minbum; Jung, Junhee; Park, Hyeongsik; Park, Jinjoo; Kim, Youngkuk; Shin, Chonghoon; Lee, Youn-Jung; Yi, Junsin

    2012-11-01

    We have investigated the effect of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure to boron doped (p-type) hydrogenated amorphous silicon oxide (p-a-SiO:H) thin semiconductor films by measuring changes in its structural, electrical and optical properties. After a 50 h of UV light soaking (LS) of the films, that have 1.2, 6.9, 15.2, 25.3 at.% oxygen content (C(O)) and optical gap (E04) of 1.897, 2.080, 2.146 and 2.033 eV, show a relative increase in the C(O) by 28.0%, 9.8%, 2.0%, 3.1%, a relative increase in the Urbach energy (Eu) by 42%, 24%, 8%, 0%, decrease in the E04 by 66, 2, 12, 19 meV and the gap state defect density (Nd) show an increase by 6.5%, 3.4%, 0.7%, 0.1%. At higher oxygen content the observed UV light induced degradation (LID) is relatively less than that for films with lower oxygen content, indicating that higher oxides face less changes under the UV light.

  6. In vivo Characterization of Amorphous Silicon Carbide As a Biomaterial for Chronic Neural Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Knaack, Gretchen L.; McHail, Daniel G.; Borda, German; Koo, Beomseo; Peixoto, Nathalia; Cogan, Stuart F.; Dumas, Theodore C.; Pancrazio, Joseph J.

    2016-01-01

    Implantable microelectrode arrays (MEAs) offer clinical promise for prosthetic devices by enabling restoration of communication and control of artificial limbs. While proof-of-concept recordings from MEAs have been promising, work in animal models demonstrates that the obtained signals degrade over time. Both material robustness and tissue response are acknowledged to have a role in device lifetime. Amorphous Silicon carbide (a-SiC), a robust material that is corrosion resistant, has emerged as an alternative encapsulation layer for implantable devices. We systematically examined the impact of a-SiC coating on Si probes by immunohistochemical characterization of key markers implicated in tissue-device response. After implantation, we performed device capture immunohistochemical labeling of neurons, astrocytes, and activated microglia/macrophages after 4 and 8 weeks of implantation. Neuron loss and microglia activation were similar between Si and a-SiC coated probes, while tissue implanted with a-SiC displayed a reduction in astrocytes adjacent to the probe. These results suggest that a-SiC has a similar biocompatibility profile as Si, and may be suitable for implantable MEA applications as a hermetic coating to prevent material degradation. PMID:27445672

  7. Hexagonal Ag nanoarrays induced enhancement of blue light emission from amorphous oxidized silicon nitride via localized surface plasmon coupling.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zhongyuan; Ni, Xiaodong; Zhang, Wenping; Jiang, Xiaofan; Yang, Huafeng; Yu, Jie; Wang, Wen; Xu, Ling; Xu, Jun; Chen, Kunji; Feng, Duan

    2014-11-17

    A significant enhancement of blue light emission from amorphous oxidized silicon nitride (a-SiNx:O) films is achieved by introduction of ordered and size-controllable arrays of Ag nanoparticles between the silicon substrate and a-SiNx:O films. Using hexagonal arrays of Ag nanoparticles fabricated by nanosphere lithography, the localized surface plasmons (LSPs) resonance can effectively increase the internal quantum efficiency from 3.9% to 13.3%. Theoretical calculation confirms that the electromagnetic field-intensity enhancement is through the dipole surface plasma coupling with the excitons of a-SiNx:O films, which demonstrates a-SiNx:O films with enhanced blue emission are promising for silicon-based light-emitting applications by patterned Ag arrays.

  8. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy study in micro-grain structured amorphous silicon anodes for lithium-ion batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paloukis, Fotis; Elmasides, Costas; Farmakis, Filippos; Selinis, Petros; Neophytides, Stylianos G.; Georgoulas, Nikolaos

    2016-11-01

    In this paper, a study of the lithiation mechanism of micro-grain structured silicon anode is presented. Micro-grain amorphous silicon was deposited on special copper foil and it is shown that after several decades of galvanostatic cycles, it preserves its granular nature with minor degradation. In order to shed light on the lithiation mechanisms of the micro-grain silicon, Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) was conducted on silicon half-cells at various State-of-Charge (SoC) and various discharging current values and the Solid-Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) RSEI and polarization resistance Rpol were determined. Results reveal that Rpol highly increases for cell voltages lower than 0.2 V and it strongly depends on the discharging C-rate. From X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) measurements combined with surface sputtering, the existence of a LixSiyOz interlayer between SEI and silicon is confirmed, which is believed to play an important role to the lithium kinetics. Finally, combining our results, a lithiation mechanism of the micro-grain silicon anode is proposed.

  9. Thermal conductivity and localization in glasses: Numerical study of a model of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, Joseph L.; Kluge, Mark D.; Allen, Philip B.; Wooten, Frederick

    1993-11-01

    Numerical calculations of thermal conductivity κ(T) are reported for realistic atomic structure models of amorphous silicon with 1000 atoms and periodic boundary conditions. Using Stillinger-Weber forces, the vibrational eigenstates are computed by exact diagonalization in harmonic approximation. Only the uppermost 3% of the states are localized. The finite size of the system prevents accurate information about low-energy vibrations, but the 98% of the modes with energies above 10 meV are densely enough represented to permit a lot of information to be extracted. Each harmonic mode has an intrinsic (harmonic) diffusivity defined by the Kubo formula, which we can accurately calculate for ω>10 meV. If the mode could be assigned a wave vector k and a velocity v=∂ω/∂k, then Boltzmann theory assigns a diffusivity Dk=1/3vl, where l is the mean free path. We find that we cannot define a wave vector for the majority of the states, but the intrinsic harmonic diffusivity is still well-defined and has a numerical value similar to what one gets by using the Boltzmann result, replacing v by a sound velocity and replacing l by an interatomic distance a. This appears to justify the notion of a minimum thermal conductivity as discussed by Kittel, Slack, and others. In order to fit the experimental κ(T) it is necessary to add a Debye-like continuation from 10 meV down to 0 meV. The harmonic diffusivity becomes a Rayleigh ω-4 law and gives a divergent κ(T) as T-->0. To eliminate this we make the standard assumption of resonant-plus-relaxational absorption from two-level systems (this is an anharmonic effect which would lie outside our model even if it did contain two-level systems implicitly). A reasonable fit and explanation then results for the behavior of κ(T) in all temperature regimes. We also study the effect of increasing the harmonic disorder by substitutional mass defects (modeling amorphous Si/Ge alloys). The additional disorder increases the fraction of

  10. Growth of amorphous and epitaxial alternative gate dielectrics on silicon by molecular-beam epitaxy and their characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edge, Lisa Friedman

    The continued scaling of SiO2 in metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) is approaching its fundamental limit and in the next few years will have to be replaced with an alternative gate dielectric if Moore's law is to continue. In a search for suitable alternative dielectrics, I have investigated the growth of amorphous and epitaxial LaAlO3, LaScO3, La2O3, and Sc2O3 thin films by molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) on silicon. A major challenge in the growth of alternative gate dielectrics on silicon is the formation of SiO2 at the interface between silicon and the high- K gate dielectric. In this dissertation, I have established deposition conditions that yielded abrupt interfaces (< 0.1 A of SiO2) between amorphous LaAlO3 or LaScO3 thin films and silicon. These results demonstrate the thinnest gate dielectrics ever produced that are free of interfacial SiO2, despite exposure to air. The thermal stability between silicon and the abrupt amorphous LaAlO 3 and LaScO3 thin films was established for the first time. By 900°C, crystallization is clearly observed, but the LaAlO3/Si interface remains sharp with no detectable interfacial SiO2. The thermal stability results establish key processing windows for the integration of amorphous LaAlO3 and LaScO3 thin films into silicon-based MOSFETs. In this work, the following critical physical properties of amorphous LaAlO3 thin films deposited on silicon have been determined: dielectric constant (K = 16 +/- 2), bandgap (Eg = 6.2 +/- 0.1 eV), and band alignment (DeltaEc = 1.8 +/- 0.2 for electrons and DeltaEv = 3.2 +/- 0.1 eV for holes). The following critical physical properties of amorphous LaScO3 thin films deposited on silicon have been determined: bandgap (Eg = 5.7 +/- 0.1 eV) and band alignment (DeltaEc = 2.0 +/- 0.1 eV for electrons and DeltaEv = 3.1 +/- 0.1 eV for holes). In this dissertation, epitaxial (0001) La2O3 thin films with the hexagonal crystal structure were grown on (111) Si for the first time

  11. Optimization of transparent and reflecting electrodes for amorphous-silicon solar cells. Final subcontract report, 1 May 1991--30 April 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, R.G.; Hu, J.; Lacks, D.; Musher, J.; Thornton, J.; Liang, H.

    1994-07-01

    Fluorine-doped zinc oxide was shown to have the lowest absorption loss of any of the known transparent conductors. An apparatus was constructed to deposit textured, transparent, conductive, fluorine-doped zinc oxide layers with uniform thickness over a 10 cm by 10 cm area, using inexpensive, high-productivity atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition. Amorphous silicon solar cells grown on these textured films show very high peak quantum efficiencies (over 90%). However, a significant contact resistance develops at the interface between the amorphous silicon and the zinc oxide. Transparent, conductive gallium-doped zinc oxide films were grown by APCVD at a low enough temperature (260{degree}C) to be deposited on amorphous silicon as a final conductive back contact to solar cells. A quantum-mechanical theory of bonding was developed and applied to some metal oxides; it forms a basis for understanding TCO structures and the stability of their interfaces with silicon.

  12. Specific features of erbium ion photoluminescence in structures with amorphous and crystalline silicon nanoclusters in silica matrix

    SciTech Connect

    Dyakov, S. A. Zhigunov, D. M.; Timoshenko, V. Yu.

    2010-04-15

    Photoluminescence properties of the structures of amorphous and crystalline silicon nanoclusters with average sizes no larger than 4 nm in an erbium-doped silicon dioxide matrix were studied. It was found that the photoluminescence lifetime of Er{sup 3+} ions at a wavelength of 1.5 {mu}m decreases from 5.7 to 2.0 ms and from 3.5 to 1.5 ms in samples with amorphous nanoclusters and with nanocrystals, respectively, as the Er{sup 3+} concentration increases from 10{sup 19} to 10{sup 21} cm{sup -3}. The decrease in the erbium photoluminescence lifetime with the ion concentration is attributed to the effects of concentration-related quenching and residual implantation-induced defects. The difference between lifetimes for samples with amorphous and crystalline nanoclusters is interpreted as the effect of different probabilities of energy back transfer from Er{sup 3+} ions to the solid-state matrix in the structures under consideration.

  13. Accelerated kinetics of amorphous silicon using an on-the-fly off-lattice kinetic Monte-Carlo method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joly, Jean-Francois; El-Mellouhi, Fedwa; Beland, Laurent Karim; Mousseau, Normand

    2011-03-01

    The time evolution of a series of well relaxed amorphous silicon models was simulated using the kinetic Activation-RelaxationTechnique (kART), an on-the-fly off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo method. This novel algorithm uses the ART nouveau algorithm to generate activated events and links them with local topologies. It was shown to work well for crystals with few defects but this is the first time it is used to study an amorphous material. A parallel implementation allows us to increase the speed of the event generation phase. After each KMC step, new searches are initiated for each new topology encountered. Well relaxed amorphous silicon models of 1000 atoms described by a modified version of the empirical Stillinger-Weber potential were used as a starting point for the simulations. Initial results show that the method is faster by orders of magnitude compared to conventional MD simulations up to temperatures of 500 K. Vacancy-type defects were also introduced in this system and their stability and lifetimes are calculated.

  14. Photothermal performance of an amorphous silicon photovoltaic panel integrated in a membrane structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Bing; Hu, Jianhui; Chen, Wujun; Qiu, Zhenyu; Zhou, Jinyu; Qu, Yegao; Ge, Binbin

    2016-10-01

    The amorphous silicon photovoltaic (a-Si PV) cells are widely used for electricity generation from solar energy. When the a-Si PV cells are integrated into building roofs, such as ETFE (ethylene-tetrafouoroethylene) cushions, the temperature characteristics are indispensible for evaluating the thermal performances of a-Si PV and its constructions. This temperature value is directly dependent on the solar irradiance, wind velocity, ambient temperature and installation form. This paper concerns the field experiments and numerical modeling on the temperature characteristics and temperature value of the a-Si PV integrated in a double-layer ETFE cushion structure. To this end, an experimental model composed of two a-Si PV cells and a double-layer ETFE cushion was developed, and the corresponding experiments were carried out under two typical weather conditions (summer sunny and summer cloudy). The theoretical thermal model was developed based on an energy balance equation taking the short wave radiation, long wave radiation, convection and generated power into account. The measured solar irradiance and air temperature were used as real weather conditions for the thermal model. The corresponding differential equation of the a-Si PV temperature varying with the solar irradiance and air temperature was solved by a newly developed program based on the numerical method. The measured results show that the influence of solar irradiance on the temperature is much more significant than the other parameters, and the maximum temperature variation under sunny conditions is greater than that under cloudy conditions. The comparative study between the experimental and numerical results shows the correct predictions of the a-Si PV temperature under the sunny and cloudy conditions. The maximum difference is 3.9 °C with the acceptable reasons of the solar irradiance fluctuation and the PV thermal response time. These findings will provide useful observations and explanations for

  15. Amorphous silicon research. Final technical progress report, 1 August 1994--28 February 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S

    1998-05-01

    This report describes the status and accomplishments of work performed under this subcontract by United Solar Systems. United Solar researchers explored several new deposition regimes/conditions to investigate their effect on material/device performance. To facilitate optimum ion bombardment during growth, a large parameter space involving chamber pressure, rf power, and hydrogen dilution were investigated. United Solar carried out a series of experiments using discharge modulation at various pulsed-plasma intervals to study the effect of Si-particle incorporation on solar cell performance. Hydrogen dilution during deposition is found to improve both the initial and stable performance of a-Si and a-SiGe alloy cells. Researchers conducted a series of temperature-ramping experiments on samples prepared with high and low hydrogen dilutions to study the effect of hydrogen effusion on solar cell performance. Using an internal photoemission method, the electrical bandgap of a microcrystalline p layer used in high-efficiency solar cells was measured to be 1.6 eV. New measurement techniques were developed to evaluate the interface and bulk contributions of losses to solar cell performance. Researchers replaced hydrogen with deuterium and found deuterated amorphous silicon alloy solar cells exhibit reduced light-induced degradation. The incorporation of a microcrystalline n layer in a multijunction cell is seen to improve cell performance. United Solar achieved a world-record single-junction a-Si alloy stable cell efficiency of 9.2% with an active area of 0.25 cm{sup 2} grown with high hydrogen dilution. They also achieved a world-record triple-junction, stable, active-area cell efficiency of 13.0% with an active area of 0.25 cm{sup 2}.

  16. Efficient nanorod-based amorphous silicon solar cells with advanced light trapping

    SciTech Connect

    Kuang, Y.; Lare, M. C. van; Polman, A.; Veldhuizen, L. W.; Schropp, R. E. I.; Rath, J. K.

    2015-11-14

    We present a simple, low-cost, and scalable approach for the fabrication of efficient nanorod-based solar cells. Templates with arrays of self-assembled ZnO nanorods with tunable morphology are synthesized by chemical bath deposition using a low process temperature at 80 °C. The nanorod templates are conformally coated with hydrogenated amorphous silicon light absorber layers of 100 nm and 200 nm thickness. An initial efficiency of up to 9.0% is achieved for the optimized design. External quantum efficiency measurements on the nanorod cells show a substantial photocurrent enhancement both in the red and the blue parts of the solar spectrum. Key insights in the light trapping mechanisms in these arrays are obtained via a combination of three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain simulations, optical absorption, and external quantum efficiency measurements. Front surface patterns enhance the light incoupling in the blue, while rear side patterns lead to enhanced light trapping in the red. The red response in the nanorod cells is limited by absorption in the patterned Ag back contact. With these findings, we develop and experimentally realize a further advanced design with patterned front and back sides while keeping the Ag reflector flat, showing significantly enhanced scattering from the back reflector with reduced parasitic absorption in the Ag and thus higher photocurrent generation. Many of the findings in this work can serve to provide insights for further optimization of nanostructures for thin-film solar cells in a broad range of materials.

  17. Plasmonic enhancement of amorphous silicon solar photovoltaic cells with hexagonal silver arrays made with nanosphere lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, C.; Guney, D. O.; Pearce, J. M.

    2016-10-01

    Nanosphere lithography (NSL) provides an opportunity for a low-cost and scalable method to optically engineer solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. For PV applications, NSL is widely used in rear contact scenarios to excite surface plasmon polariton and/or high order diffractions, however, the top contact scenarios using NSL are rare. In this paper a systematic simulation study is conducted to determine the capability of achieving efficiency enhancement in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells using NSL as a top contact plasmonic optical enhancer. The study focuses on triangular prism and sphere arrays as they are the most commonly and easily acquired through direct deposition or low-temperature annealing, respectively. For optical enhancement, a characteristic absorption profile is generated and analyzed to determine the effects of size, shape and spacing of plasmonic structures compared to an un-enhanced reference cell. The factors affecting NSL-enhanced PV performance include absorption, shielding effects, diffraction, and scattering. In the triangular prism array, parasitic absorption of the silver particles proves to be problematic, and although it can be alleviated by increasing the particle spacing, no useful enhancement was observed in the triangular prism arrays that were simulated. Sphere arrays, on the other hand, have broad scattering cross-sections that create useful scattering fields at several sizes and spacing intervals. For the simulated sphere arrays the highest enhancement found was 7.4%, which was fabricated with a 250 nm radius nanosphere and a 50 nm silver thickness, followed by annealing in inert gas. These results are promising and provide a path towards the commercialization of plasmonic a-Si:H solar cells using NSL fabrication techniques.

  18. High spatial resolution radiation detectors based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon and scintillator

    SciTech Connect

    Jing, Tao

    1995-05-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) as a large-area thin film semiconductor with ease of doping and low-cost fabrication capability has given a new impetus to the field of imaging sensors; its high radiation resistance also makes it a good material for radiation detectors. In addition, large-area microelectronics based on a-Si:H or polysilicon can be made with full integration of peripheral circuits, including readout switches and shift registers on the same substrate. Thin a-Si:H p-i-n photodiodes coupled to suitable scintillators are shown to be suitable for detecting charged particles, electrons, and X-rays. The response speed of CsI/a-Si:H diode combinations to individual particulate radiation is limited by the scintillation light decay since the charge collection time of the diode is very short (< 10ns). The reverse current of the detector is analyzed in term of contact injection, thermal generation, field enhanced emission (Poole-Frenkel effect), and edge leakage. A good collection efficiency for a diode is obtained by optimizing the p layer of the diode thickness and composition. The CsI(Tl) scintillator coupled to an a-Si:H photodiode detector shows a capability for detecting minimum ionizing particles with S/N ~20. In such an arrangement a p-i-n diode is operated in a photovoltaic mode (reverse bias). In addition, a p-i-n diode can also work as a photoconductor under forward bias and produces a gain yield of 3--8 for shaping times of 1 {micro}s. The mechanism of the formation of structured CsI scintillator layers is analyzed. Initial nucleation in the deposited layer is sensitive to the type of substrate medium, with imperfections generally catalyzing nucleation. Therefore, the microgeometry of a patterned substrate has a significant effect on the structure of the CsI growth.

  19. Low-temperature high-mobility amorphous IZO for silicon heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Morales-Masis, Monica; Martin De Nicolas, Silvia; Holovsky, Jakub; De Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe

    2015-07-13

    Parasitic absorption in the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) front electrode is one of the limitations of silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells efficiency. To avoid such absorption while retaining high conductivity, TCOs with high electron mobility are preferred over those with high carrier density. Here, we demonstrate improved SHJ solar cell efficiencies by applying high-mobility amorphous indium zinc oxide (a-IZO) as the front TCO. We sputtered a-IZO at low substrate temperature and low power density and investigated the optical and electrical properties, as well as subband tail formation-quantified by the Urbach energy (EU)-as a function of the sputtering oxygen partial pressure. We obtain an EU as low as 128 meV for films with the highest Hall mobility of 60 cm2/Vs. When comparing the performance of a-IZO films with indium tin oxide (ITO) and hydrogenated indium oxide (IO:H), we find that IO:H (115 cm2/Vs) exhibits a similar EU of 130 meV, while ITO (25 cm2/Vs) presents a much larger EU of up to 270 meV. The high film quality, indicated by the low EU, the high mobility, and low free carrier absorption of the developed a-IZO electrodes, result in a significant current improvement, achieving conversion efficiencies over 21.5%, outperforming those with standard ITO.

  20. Design of high-reliability low-cost amorphous silicon modules for high energy yield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, Kai W.; Varvar, Anthony; Twesme, Edward; Berens, Troy; Dhere, Neelkanth G.

    2008-08-01

    For PV modules to fulfill their intended purpose, they must generate sufficient economic return over their lifetime to justify their initial cost. Not only must modules be manufactured at a low cost/Wp with a high energy yield (kWh/kWp), they must also be designed to withstand the significant environmental stresses experienced throughout their 25+ year lifetime. Based on field experience, the most common factors affecting the lifetime energy yield of glass-based amorphous silicon (a-Si) modules have been identified; these include: 1) light-induced degradation; 2) moisture ingress and thin film corrosion; 3) transparent conductive oxide (TCO) delamination; and 4) glass breakage. The current approaches to mitigating the effect of these degradation mechanisms are discussed and the accelerated tests designed to simulate some of the field failures are described. In some cases, novel accelerated tests have been created to facilitate the development of improved manufacturing processes, including a unique test to screen for TCO delamination. Modules using the most reliable designs are tested in high voltage arrays at customer and internal test sites, as well as at independent laboratories. Data from tests at the Florida Solar Energy Center has shown that a-Si tandem modules can demonstrate an energy yield exceeding 1200 kWh/kWp/yr in a subtropical climate. In the same study, the test arrays demonstrated low long-term power loss over two years of data collection, after initial stabilization. The absolute power produced by the test arrays varied seasonally by approximately +/-7%, as expected.

  1. Development of radiation detectors based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon and its alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, Wan-Shick

    1995-04-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon and related materials have been applied to radiation detectors, utilizing their good radiation resistance and the feasibility of making deposits over a large area at low cost. Effects of deposition parameters on various material properties of a-Si:H have been studied to produce a material satisfying the requirements for specific detection application. Thick(-~50 μm), device quality a-Si:H p-i-n diodes for direct detection of minimum ionizing particles have been prepared with low internal stress by a combination of low temperature growth, He-dilution of silane, and post annealing. The structure of the new film contained voids and tiny crystalline inclusions and was different from the one observed in conventional a-Si:H. Deposition on patterned substrates was attempted as an alternative to controlling deposition parameters to minimize substrate bending and delamination of thick a-Si:H films. Growth on an inversed-pyramid pattern reduced the substrate bending by a factor of 3 ≈ 4 for the same thickness film. Thin (0.1 ≈ 0.2 μm) films of a-Si:H and a-SiC:H have been applied to microstrip gas chambers to control gain instabilities due to charges on the substrate. Light sensitivity of the a-Si:H sheet resistance was minimized and the surface resistivity was successfully` controlled in the range of 1012 ≈ 1017 Ω/(four gradient) by carbon alloying and boron doping. Performance of the detectors with boron-doped a-Si:C:H layers was comparable to that of electronic-conducting glass. Hydrogen dilution of silane has been explored to improve electrical transport properties of a-Si:H material for high speed photo-detectors and TFT applications.

  2. The status of lightweight photovoltaic space array technology based on amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanak, Joseph J.; Kaschmitter, Jim

    1991-01-01

    Ultralight, flexible photovoltaic (PV) array of amorphous silicon (a-Si) was identified as a potential low cost power source for small satellites. A survey was conducted of the status of the a-Si PV array technology with respect to present and future performance, availability, cost, and risks. For existing, experimental array blankets made of commercial cell material, utilizing metal foil substrates, the Beginning of Life (BOL) performance at Air Mass Zero (AM0) and 35 C includes total power up to 200 W, power per area of 64 W/sq m and power per weight of 258 W/kg. Doubling of power per weight occurs when polyimide substrates are used. Estimated End of Life (EOL) power output after 10 years in a nominal low earth orbit would be 80 pct. of BOL, the degradation being due to largely light induced effects (-10 to -15 pct.) and in part (-5 pct.) to space radiation. Predictions for the year 1995 for flexible PV arrays, made on the basis of published results for rigid a-Si modules, indicate EOL power output per area and per weight of 105 W/sq m and 400 W/kg, respectively, while predictions for the late 1990s based on existing U.S. national PV program goals indicate EOL values of 157 W/sq m and 600 W/kg. Cost estimates by vendors for 200 W ultralight arrays in volume of over 1000 units range from $100/watt to $125/watt. Identified risks include the lack of flexible, space compatible encapsulant, the lack of space qualification effort, recent partial or full acquisitions of US manufacturers of a-Si cells by foreign firms, and the absence of a national commitment for a long range development program toward developing of this important power source for space.

  3. Multidetector-row CT with a 64-row amorphous silicon flat panel detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, Edward G.; Colbeth, Richard E.; Daley, Earl T.; Job, Isaias D.; Mollov, Ivan P.; Mollov, Todor I.; Pavkovich, John M.; Roos, Pieter G.; Star-Lack, Josh M.; Tognina, Carlo A.

    2007-03-01

    A unique 64-row flat panel (FP) detector has been developed for sub-second multidetector-row CT (MDCT). The intent was to explore the image quality achievable with relatively inexpensive amorphous silicon (a-Si) compared to existing diagnostic scanners with discrete crystalline diode detectors. The FP MDCT system is a bench-top design that consists of three FP modules. Each module uses a 30 cm x 3.3 cm a-Si array with 576 x 64 photodiodes. The photodiodes are 0.52 mm x 0.52 mm, which allows for about twice the spatial resolution of most commercial MDCT scanners. The modules are arranged in an overlapping geometry, which is sufficient to provide a full-fan 48 cm diameter scan. Scans were obtained with various detachable scintillators, e.g. ceramic Gd IIO IIS, particle-in-binder Gd IIO IIS:Tb and columnar CsI:Tl. Scan quality was evaluated with a Catphan-500 performance phantom and anthropomorphic phantoms. The FP MDCT scans demonstrate nearly equivalent performance scans to a commercial 16-slice MDCT scanner at comparable 10 - 20 mGy/100mAs doses. Thus far, a high contrast resolution of 15 lp/cm and a low contrast resolution of 5 mm @ 0.3 % have been achieved on 1 second scans. Sub-second scans have been achieved with partial rotations. Since the future direction of MDCT appears to be in acquiring single organ coverage per scan, future efforts are planned for increasing the number of detector rows beyond the current 64- rows.

  4. Influence of back contact roughness on light trapping and plasmonic losses of randomly textured amorphous silicon thin film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palanchoke, U.; Jovanov, V.; Kurz, H.; Dewan, R.; Magnus, P.; Stiebig, H.; Knipp, D.

    2013-02-01

    The influence of nanotextured metallic back contacts on light trapping and plasmonic losses of amorphous silicon solar cells was investigated. The optical losses of the back contact are determined by the texture of the metallic back contact and the dielectric constant of the interlayer between the solar cell and the metal back contact. The investigations show that the optical losses are highest if nano features are present at the back contact, while the texture of the front contact which propagates through the layer stack exhibits only a minor effect on the optical losses.

  5. Amorphous/nanocrystalline silicon biosensor for the specific identification of unamplified nucleic acid sequences using gold nanoparticle probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, Rodrigo; Baptista, Pedro; Raniero, Leandro; Doria, Gonçalo; Silva, Leonardo; Franco, Ricardo; Fortunato, Elvira

    2007-01-01

    Amorphous/nanocrystalline silicon pi 'ii'n devices fabricated on micromachined glass substrates are integrated with oligonucleotide-derivatized gold nanoparticles for a colorimetric detection method. The method enables the specific detection and quantification of unamplified nucleic acid sequences (DNA and RNA) without the need to functionalize the glass surface, allowing for resolution of single nucleotide differences between DNA and RNA sequences—single nucleotide polymorphism and mutation detection. The detector's substrate is glass and the sample is directly applied on the back side of the biosensor, ensuring a direct optical coupling of the assays with a concomitant maximum photon capture and the possibility to reuse the sensor.

  6. In situ spectroscopic study of the plastic deformation of amorphous silicon under nonhydrostatic conditions induced by indentation

    DOE PAGES

    Gerbig, Yvonne B.; Michaels, C. A.; Bradby, Jodie E.; ...

    2015-12-17

    Indentation-induced plastic deformation of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin films was studied by in situ Raman imaging of the deformed contact region of an indented sample, employing a Raman spectroscopy-enhanced instrumented indentation technique (IIT). The occurrence and evolving spatial distribution of changes in the a-Si structure caused by processes, such as polyamorphization and crystallization, induced by indentation loading were observed. Furthermore, the obtained experimental results are linked with previously published work on the plastic deformation of a-Si under hydrostatic compression and shear deformation to establish a model for the deformation behavior of a-Si under indentation loading.

  7. In situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopy study of interfacial reactions of Cu thin films on amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sung Bo; Choi, Duck-Kyun; Phillipp, Fritz; Jeon, Kyung-Sook; Kim, Chang Kyung

    2006-02-01

    Interfacial reactions of Cu with amorphous silicon (a-Si) in the Cu /a-Si/glass system are studied by in situ high-resolution transmission electron microscopy at 550°C. Various Cu silicides, such as η-Cu3Si, Cu15Si4, and Cu5Si, and Cu particles are observed. The formation of the Cu particles can be attributed to a heating effect from electron beam irradiation. Around the Cu silicides, crystallization of a-Si occurs. Around the Cu particles, however, crystallization does not occur. Crystallization appears to be enhanced by Cu dissolved in a-Si.

  8. Difference in light-induced annealing behavior of deposition- and light-induced defects in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hata, N.; Matsuda, A.

    1993-10-01

    First experimental results on light-induced annealing (LIA) of deposition-induced defects (DID) in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) are reported. LIA of DID and of light-induced defects (LID) showed a big difference: the reduction in density of DID by LIA is as low as one third or less of LID reduced by LIA, while thermal annealing reduced DID and LID very similarly. Those results indicate a structural difference between DID and LID, and are discussed in connection with a structural model of a-Si:H.

  9. Valence band offset in heterojunctions between crystalline silicon and amorphous silicon (sub)oxides (a-SiO{sub x}:H, 0 < x < 2)

    SciTech Connect

    Liebhaber, M.; Mews, M.; Schulze, T. F.; Korte, L. Rech, B.; Lips, K.

    2015-01-19

    The heterojunction between amorphous silicon (sub)oxides (a-SiO{sub x}:H, 0 < x < 2) and crystalline silicon (c-Si) is investigated. We combine chemical vapor deposition with in-system photoelectron spectroscopy in order to determine the valence band offset ΔE{sub V} and the interface defect density, being technologically important junction parameters. ΔE{sub V} increases from ≈0.3 eV for the a-Si:H/c-Si interface to >4 eV for the a-SiO{sub 2}/c-Si interface, while the electronic quality of the heterointerface deteriorates. High-bandgap a-SiO{sub x}:H is therefore unsuitable for the hole contact in heterojunction solar cells, due to electronic transport hindrance resulting from the large ΔE{sub V}. Our method is readily applicable to other heterojunctions.

  10. Laser fabrication of crystalline silicon nanoresonators from an amorphous film for low-loss all-dielectric nanophotonics.

    PubMed

    Dmitriev, P A; Makarov, S V; Milichko, V A; Mukhin, I S; Gudovskikh, A S; Sitnikova, A A; Samusev, A K; Krasnok, A E; Belov, P A

    2016-03-07

    The concept of high refractive index subwavelength dielectric nanoresonators, supporting electric and magnetic optical resonance, is a promising platform for waveguiding, sensing, and nonlinear nanophotonic devices. However, high concentration of defects in the nanoresonators diminishes their resonant properties, which are crucially dependent on their internal losses. Therefore, it seems to be inevitable to use initially crystalline materials for fabrication of the nanoresonators. Here, we show that the fabrication of crystalline (low-loss) resonant silicon nanoparticles by femtosecond laser ablation of amorphous (high-loss) silicon thin films is possible. We apply two conceptually different approaches: recently proposed laser-induced transfer and a novel laser writing technique for large-scale fabrication of the crystalline nanoparticles. The crystallinity of the fabricated nanoparticles is proven by Raman spectroscopy and electron transmission microscopy, whereas optical resonant properties of the nanoparticles are studied using dark-field optical spectroscopy and full-wave electromagnetic simulations.

  11. Laser fabrication of crystalline silicon nanoresonators from an amorphous film for low-loss all-dielectric nanophotonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitriev, P. A.; Makarov, S. V.; Milichko, V. A.; Mukhin, I. S.; Gudovskikh, A. S.; Sitnikova, A. A.; Samusev, A. K.; Krasnok, A. E.; Belov, P. A.

    2016-02-01

    The concept of high refractive index subwavelength dielectric nanoresonators, supporting electric and magnetic optical resonance, is a promising platform for waveguiding, sensing, and nonlinear nanophotonic devices. However, high concentration of defects in the nanoresonators diminishes their resonant properties, which are crucially dependent on their internal losses. Therefore, it seems to be inevitable to use initially crystalline materials for fabrication of the nanoresonators. Here, we show that the fabrication of crystalline (low-loss) resonant silicon nanoparticles by femtosecond laser ablation of amorphous (high-loss) silicon thin films is possible. We apply two conceptually different approaches: recently proposed laser-induced transfer and a novel laser writing technique for large-scale fabrication of the crystalline nanoparticles. The crystallinity of the fabricated nanoparticles is proven by Raman spectroscopy and electron transmission microscopy, whereas optical resonant properties of the nanoparticles are studied using dark-field optical spectroscopy and full-wave electromagnetic simulations.

  12. Use of an amorphous silicon EPID for measuring MLC calibration at varying gantry angle.

    PubMed

    Clarke, M F; Budgell, G J

    2008-01-21

    Amorphous silicon electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs) are used to perform routine quality control (QC) checks on the multileaf collimators (MLCs) at this centre. Presently, these checks are performed at gantry angle 0 degrees and are considered to be valid for all other angles. Since therapeutic procedures regularly require the delivery of MLC-defined fields to the patient at a wide range of gantry angles, the accuracy of the QC checks at other gantry angles has been investigated. When the gantry is rotated to angles other than 0 degrees it was found that the apparent pixel size measured using the EPID varies up to a maximum value of 0.0015 mm per pixel due to a sag in the EPID of up to 9.2 mm. A correction factor was determined using two independent methods at a range of gantry angles between 0 degrees and 360 degrees . The EPID was used to measure field sizes (defined by both x-jaws and MLC) at a range of gantry angles and, after this correction had been applied, any residual gravitational sag was studied. It was found that, when fields are defined by the x-jaws and y-back-up jaws, no errors of greater than 0.5 mm were measured and that these errors were no worse when the MLC was used. It was therefore concluded that, provided the correction is applied, measurements of the field size are, in practical terms, unaffected by gantry angle. Experiments were also performed to study how the reproducibility of individual leaves is affected by gantry angle. Measurements of the relative position of each individual leaf (minor offsets) were performed at a range of gantry angles and repeated three times. The position reproducibility was defined by the RMS error in the position of each leaf and this was found to be 0.24 mm and 0.21 mm for the two leaf banks at a gantry angle of 0 degrees . When measurements were performed at a range of gantry angles, these reproducibility values remained within 0.09 mm and 0.11 mm. It was therefore concluded that the calibration of the

  13. Use of an amorphous silicon EPID for measuring MLC calibration at varying gantry angle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, M. F.; Budgell, G. J.

    2008-01-01

    Amorphous silicon electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs) are used to perform routine quality control (QC) checks on the multileaf collimators (MLCs) at this centre. Presently, these checks are performed at gantry angle 0° and are considered to be valid for all other angles. Since therapeutic procedures regularly require the delivery of MLC-defined fields to the patient at a wide range of gantry angles, the accuracy of the QC checks at other gantry angles has been investigated. When the gantry is rotated to angles other than 0° it was found that the apparent pixel size measured using the EPID varies up to a maximum value of 0.0015 mm per pixel due to a sag in the EPID of up to 9.2 mm. A correction factor was determined using two independent methods at a range of gantry angles between 0° and 360°. The EPID was used to measure field sizes (defined by both x-jaws and MLC) at a range of gantry angles and, after this correction had been applied, any residual gravitational sag was studied. It was found that, when fields are defined by the x-jaws and y-back-up jaws, no errors of greater than 0.5 mm were measured and that these errors were no worse when the MLC was used. It was therefore concluded that, provided the correction is applied, measurements of the field size are, in practical terms, unaffected by gantry angle. Experiments were also performed to study how the reproducibility of individual leaves is affected by gantry angle. Measurements of the relative position of each individual leaf (minor offsets) were performed at a range of gantry angles and repeated three times. The position reproducibility was defined by the RMS error in the position of each leaf and this was found to be 0.24 mm and 0.21 mm for the two leaf banks at a gantry angle of 0°. When measurements were performed at a range of gantry angles, these reproducibility values remained within 0.09 mm and 0.11 mm. It was therefore concluded that the calibration of the Elekta MLC is stable at all

  14. Stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon solar cells with low hydrogen content. Annual subcontract report, 1 March 1991--31 January 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Fortmann, C.M.; Hegedus, S.S.

    1992-12-01

    Results and conclusions obtained during a research program of the investigation of amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon based alloy materials and solar cells fabricated by photo-chemical vapor and glow discharge depositions are reported. Investigation of the effects of the hydrogen content in a-si:H i-layers in amorphous silicon solar cells show that cells with lowered hydrogen content i-layers are more stable. A classical thermodynamic formulation of the Staebler-Wronski effect has been developed for standard solar cell operating temperatures and illuminations. Methods have been developed to extract a lumped equivalent circuit from the current voltage characteristic of a single junction solar cell in order to predict its behavior in a multijunction device.

  15. Characterization of Amorphous Silicon Advanced Materials and PV Devices: Final Technical Report, 15 December 2001--31 January 2005

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, P. C.

    2005-11-01

    The major objectives of this subcontract have been: (1) understand the microscopic properties of the defects that contribute to the Staebler-Wronski effect to eliminate this effect, (2) perform correlated studies on films and devices made by novel techniques, especially those with promise to improve stability or deposition rates, (3) understand the structural, electronic, and optical properties of films of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) made on the boundary between the amorphous and microcrystalline phases, (4) search for more stable intrinsic layers of a-Si:H, (5) characterize the important defects, impurities, and metastabilities in the bulk and at surfaces and interfaces in a-Si:H films and devices and in important alloy systems, and (6) make state-of-the-art plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) devices out of new, advanced materials, when appropriate. All of these goals are highly relevant to improving photovoltaic devices based on a-Si:H and related alloys. With regard to the first objective, we have identified a paired hydrogen site that may be the defect that stabilizes the silicon dangling bonds formed in the Staebler-Wronski effect.

  16. Fabrication of luminescent porous silicon with stain etches and evidence that luminescence originates in amorphous layers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fathauer, R. W.; George, T.; Ksendzov, A.; Lin, T. L.; Pike, W. T.; Vasquez, R. P.; Wu, Z.-C.

    1992-01-01

    Simple immersion of Si in stain etches of HF:HNO3:H2O or NaNO2 in aqueous HF was used to produce films exhibiting luminescence in the visible similar to that of anodically-etched porous Si. All of the luminescent samples consist of amorphous porous Si in at least the near surface region. No evidence was found for small crystalline regions within these amorphous layers.

  17. The effect of germanium ion implantation dose on the amorphization and recrystallization of polycrystalline silicon films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komem, Y.; Hall, I. W.

    1981-11-01

    Polycrystalline Si films have been amorphized by implantation with 130-keV Ge ions and subsequently recrystallized by conventional heat treatment. It is found that, after amorphization with a low ion dose, recrystallization produces a structure which is morphologically similar to the original film. By contrast, after high Ge dose implantation, recrystallization proceeds dendritically. An initial rationale for this behavior is proposed in terms of the lattice disorder introduced by ion implantation.

  18. New Approaches for Passivation of Crystalline and Amorphous Silicon: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-09-351

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, B.

    2012-09-01

    New approaches of passivating crystalline, multicrystalline, and amorphous silicon will be explored. These will include the use of aqueous solution of KCN and a proprietary composition formulated by Mallinckrodt Baker, Inc. The surface passivation will be compared with that provided by an iodine-ethanol solution, and bulk passivation will be compared with that of H-passivation obtained by silicon nitride, in a fire-through process.

  19. Lithium implantation at low temperature in silicon for sharp buried amorphous layer formation and defect engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Oliviero, E.; David, M. L.; Beaufort, M. F.; Barbot, J. F.; Fichtner, P. F. P.

    2013-02-28

    The crystalline-to-amorphous transformation induced by lithium ion implantation at low temperature has been investigated. The resulting damage structure and its thermal evolution have been studied by a combination of Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy channelling (RBS/C) and cross sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM). Lithium low-fluence implantation at liquid nitrogen temperature is shown to produce a three layers structure: an amorphous layer surrounded by two highly damaged layers. A thermal treatment at 400 Degree-Sign C leads to the formation of a sharp amorphous/crystalline interfacial transition and defect annihilation of the front heavily damaged layer. After 600 Degree-Sign C annealing, complete recrystallization takes place and no extended defects are left. Anomalous recrystallization rate is observed with different motion velocities of the a/c interfaces and is ascribed to lithium acting as a surfactant. Moreover, the sharp buried amorphous layer is shown to be an efficient sink for interstitials impeding interstitial supersaturation and {l_brace}311{r_brace} defect formation in case of subsequent neon implantation. This study shows that lithium implantation at liquid nitrogen temperature can be suitable to form a sharp buried amorphous layer with a well-defined crystalline front layer, thus having potential applications for defects engineering in the improvement of post-implantation layers quality and for shallow junction formation.

  20. Effect of pretreatment process parameters on diamond nucleation on unscratched silicon substrates coated with amorphous carbon films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Z.; Komvopoulos, K.; Bogy, D. B.; Ager, J. W., III; Anders, S.; Anders, A.; Wang, Z.; Brown, I. G.

    1996-01-01

    Diamond nucleation on unscratched silicon substrates was investigated using a conventional microwave plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition system. Silicon substrates were coated with thin films of amorphous carbon using a vacuum arc technique. The carbon-coated silicon substrates were pretreated with a methane-rich plasma at relatively low temperatures and were subsequently exposed to the diamond nucleation conditions. The significance of the pretreatment on the diamond nucleation density was examined by varying the methane concentration, chamber pressure, and exposure time. Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that densely packed spherical nanoparticles on the pretreated surfaces played the role of diamond nucleation seeds. Raman spectroscopy analysis showed that the nucleation seeds consisted of nonhydrogenated carbon and that their structure was influenced by the pretreatment conditions. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the nucleation seeds comprised disordered graphitic carbon and ultrafine diamond crystallites. Submicrometer films of good quality diamond possessing significantly higher nucleation densities (˜5×1010 cm-2) were grown from nanoparticles produced under optimum pretreatment conditions. The enhancement of the diamond nucleation density is mainly attributed to the formation of a large number of nanoparticles, which provided sufficient high-surface free-energy sites for diamond nucleation, in conjunction with their high etching resistance to atomic hydrogen stemming from the significant percentage of sp3 atomic carbon configurations, as evidenced by the presence of nanocrystalline diamond in the nanoparticle structure.

  1. Approaching Defect-free Amorphous Silicon Nitride by Plasma-assisted Atomic Beam Deposition for High Performance Gate Dielectric.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Shu-Ju; Wang, Chiang-Lun; Lee, Hung-Chun; Lin, Chun-Yeh; Chen, Jhih-Wei; Shiu, Hong-Wei; Chang, Lo-Yueh; Hsueh, Han-Ting; Chen, Hung-Ying; Tsai, Jyun-Yu; Lu, Ying-Hsin; Chang, Ting-Chang; Tu, Li-Wei; Teng, Hsisheng; Chen, Yi-Chun; Chen, Chia-Hao; Wu, Chung-Lin

    2016-06-21

    In the past few decades, gate insulators with a high dielectric constant (high-k dielectric) enabling a physically thick but dielectrically thin insulating layer, have been used to replace traditional SiOx insulator and to ensure continuous downscaling of Si-based transistor technology. However, due to the non-silicon derivative natures of the high-k metal oxides, transport properties in these dielectrics are still limited by various structural defects on the hetero-interfaces and inside the dielectrics. Here, we show that another insulating silicon compound, amorphous silicon nitride (a-Si3N4), is a promising candidate of effective electrical insulator for use as a high-k dielectric. We have examined a-Si3N4 deposited using the plasma-assisted atomic beam deposition (PA-ABD) technique in an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) environment and demonstrated the absence of defect-related luminescence; it was also found that the electronic structure across the a-Si3N4/Si heterojunction approaches the intrinsic limit, which exhibits large band gap energy and valence band offset. We demonstrate that charge transport properties in the metal/a-Si3N4/Si (MNS) structures approach defect-free limits with a large breakdown field and a low leakage current. Using PA-ABD, our results suggest a general strategy to markedly improve the performance of gate dielectric using a nearly defect-free insulator.

  2. Approaching Defect-free Amorphous Silicon Nitride by Plasma-assisted Atomic Beam Deposition for High Performance Gate Dielectric

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Shu-Ju; Wang, Chiang-Lun; Lee, Hung-Chun; Lin, Chun-Yeh; Chen, Jhih-Wei; Shiu, Hong-Wei; Chang, Lo-Yueh; Hsueh, Han-Ting; Chen, Hung-Ying; Tsai, Jyun-Yu; Lu, Ying-Hsin; Chang, Ting-Chang; Tu, Li-Wei; Teng, Hsisheng; Chen, Yi-Chun; Chen, Chia-Hao; Wu, Chung-Lin

    2016-01-01

    In the past few decades, gate insulators with a high dielectric constant (high-k dielectric) enabling a physically thick but dielectrically thin insulating layer, have been used to replace traditional SiOx insulator and to ensure continuous downscaling of Si-based transistor technology. However, due to the non-silicon derivative natures of the high-k metal oxides, transport properties in these dielectrics are still limited by various structural defects on the hetero-interfaces and inside the dielectrics. Here, we show that another insulating silicon compound, amorphous silicon nitride (a-Si3N4), is a promising candidate of effective electrical insulator for use as a high-k dielectric. We have examined a-Si3N4 deposited using the plasma-assisted atomic beam deposition (PA-ABD) technique in an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) environment and demonstrated the absence of defect-related luminescence; it was also found that the electronic structure across the a-Si3N4/Si heterojunction approaches the intrinsic limit, which exhibits large band gap energy and valence band offset. We demonstrate that charge transport properties in the metal/a-Si3N4/Si (MNS) structures approach defect-free limits with a large breakdown field and a low leakage current. Using PA-ABD, our results suggest a general strategy to markedly improve the performance of gate dielectric using a nearly defect-free insulator. PMID:27325155

  3. Bulk formation of metallic glasses and amorphous silicon from the melt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spaepen, F.

    1984-01-01

    Procedures and compositions for producing metallic glasses in bulk at slow cooling rates were investigated. An attempt was made to form the amorphous phase of the tetrahedrally coordinated elements (Si or Ge) by undercooling the melt. The crystal nucleation behavior of pure liquids and glass formers were examined.

  4. Silicon nanoclusters ncl-Si in a hydrogenated amorphous silicon suboxide matrix a-SiO{sup x}:H (0 < x < 2)

    SciTech Connect

    Undalov, Yu. K. Terukov, E. I.

    2015-07-15

    Published data concerning plasma methods of the fabrication and study of silicon nanoclusters ncl-Si in crystalline (c-SiO{sup 2}) and amorphous (a-SiO{sup x}:H) matrices are reviewed. The effect of radio-fre- quency (RF) and direct-current (dc) discharge modulation on the growth kinetics of ncl-Si is considered. The results of infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and laser-beam scanning of the plasma composition are analyzed. The behavior of nanoparticles is described depending on their charge and size in plasma under the effect of electric, magnetic, and gravity forces and under the influence of the dynamics of gases contained within the plasma. Infrared spectroscopy data on the a-SiO{sup x}:H film matrix are analyzed. The photoluminescence properties of ncl-Si fabricated using different techniques are described.

  5. Microfabricated Amorphous Silicon Nanopillars on an Ultrasmooth 500-nm-thick Titanium Adhesion Layer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

    which may be found by heat treatment of the photoresist (5) or perhaps working with poly( methyl methacrylate ) (PMMA) rather than ZEP electron beam...isobutyl ketone PMMA poly( methyl methacrylate ) Pt platinum RMS root mean square SEM scanning electron microscopy Si silicon Ti titanium...at 21 °C in xylenes and then was rinsed for 30 s in methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK). 2.3 Silicon Deposition and Liftoff Prior to deposition, a 5-min

  6. A DLTS study of the effects of boron counterdoping on the gap states in n-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cullen, P.; Harbison, J. P.; Lang, D. V.; Adler, D.

    1984-06-01

    The technique of Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS) and related space charge measurement techniques have been applied to a series of 300 vppm phosphine (PH 3) doped, 0-44 vppm diborane (B 2H 6) counterdoped samples of hydrogenated amorphous silicon ( a-Si:H). The trends in the resulting density of states, g(E), show: (1) A large increase of g(E) at ≈0.4 to 0.6 eV from the valence band, comparable in magnitude to the total number of B atoms introduced; (2) A smaller decrease in the midgap dangling bond states on the order of ≈2.5% of the added B; (3) A drop in the number of occupied shallow states ≈0.5%; and (4) A quantitative assessment of the degree of autocompensation which shows roughly five compensating midgap states removed for every six shallow acceptor states introduced by B.

  7. Research on stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon multijunction modules. Final subcontract report, 1 January 1991--31 August 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S.

    1994-10-01

    The principal objective of this program is to conduct research on semiconductor materials and non-semiconductor materials to enhance the performance of multibandgap, multijunction, large-area amorphous silicon-based alloy modules. The goal for this program is to demonstrate stabilized module efficiency of 12% for multijunction modules of area greater than 900 cm{sup 2}. Double-junction and triple-junction cells are made on Ag/ZnO back reflector deposited on stainless steel substrates. The top cell uses a-Si alloy; a-SiGe alloy is used for the i layer in the middle and the bottom cells. After evaporation of antireflection coating, silver grids and bus bars are put on the top surface, and the panel is encapsulated in an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)/Tefzel structure to make a one-square-foot monolithic module.

  8. Research on stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon multijunction modules. Semiannual subcontract report, 1 January 1992--30 June 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S.

    1992-09-01

    This report describes research on semiconductor and non-semiconductor materials to enhance the performance of multi-band-gap, multijunction panel with an area greater than 900 cm{sup 2} by 1992. Double-junction and triple-junction cells are mode on a Ag/ZnO back reflector deposited on stainless steel substrates. An a-SiGe alloy is used for the i-layer in the bottom and the middle cells; the top cell uses an amorphous silicon alloy. After the evaporation of an antireflection coating, silver grids and bus bars are put on the top surface and the panel is encapsulated in an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)/Tefzel structure to make a 1-ft{sup 2} monolithic module.

  9. Research on stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon multijunction modules. Semiannual subcontract report, 1 March 1993--30 November 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S.

    1994-03-01

    This report describes the progress made during the first half of Phase III of the R&D program to obtain high-efficiency amorphous silicon alloy multijunction modules. The highlight of the work includes (1) demonstration of the world`s highest initial module efficiency (area of 0.09 m{sup 2}) of 11.4% as confirmed by NREL, and (2) demonstration of stable module efficiency of 9.5% after 1-sun light soaking for 1000 h at 50{degrees}C. In addition, fundamental studies were carried out to improve material properties of the component cells of the multijunction structure and to understand the optical losses associated with the back reflector.

  10. Light-induced creation of metastable defects in hydrogenated amorphous silicon studied by computer simulations of constant photocurrent measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, J. A.; Arce, R. D.; Koropecki, R. R.; Buitrago, R. H.

    1999-02-01

    The light-induced degradation of an intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon sample has been studied from the evolution of the sub-band-gap absorption coefficient. The experimental results have been modeled using detailed numerical analysis, obtaining the defect distribution within the gap for each illumination time. These results have been compared with those previously obtained from a direct deconvolution of the absorption coefficient spectra [J. A. Schmidt, R. Arce, R. H. Buitrago, and R. R. Koropecki, Phys. Rev. B 55, 9621 (1997)]. We have found, in agreement with our previous work, that (i) the defect density shows the presence of more charged than neutral defects, as predicted by the defect pool model, and (ii) the concentration of charged and neutral defects evolve with the same time dependence, thus contradicting Schumm's generalized model of defect equilibration.

  11. Characterization of transparent conductive oxide films and their effect on amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Fanying; Shi, Jianhua; Shen, Leilei; Zhang, Liping; Liu, Jinning; Liu, Yucheng; Yu, Jian; Bao, Jian; Liu, Zhengxin

    2017-04-01

    Three different dopant indium oxide thin films were fabricated at low temperatures by reactive plasma deposition and sputtering. The optical and electrical characteristics of these films were analyzed as a function of the Hall electron concentration. Furthermore, these films were applied to amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells as transparent electrodes. Consequently, it was demonstrated that the high Hall mobility, high refractive index, and low extinction coefficient of transparent conductive oxide (TCO) films contribute to the high product of short-circuit current density and fill factor and conversion efficiency. Furthermore, it was found that the solar cell with a finger spacing of 1.9 mm on a 125 × 125 mm2 Si wafer is highly tolerant to TCO film resistivity when the electron concentration is less than 4.0 × 1020 cm‑3.

  12. Enhanced Photoelectrical Response of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Single-Nanowire Solar Cells by Front-Opening Crescent Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhenhai; Cao, Guoyang; Shang, Aixue; Lei, Dang Yuan; Zhang, Cheng; Gao, Pingqi; Ye, Jichun; Li, Xiaofeng

    2016-04-01

    We report an approach for substantially enhancing the light-trapping and photoconversion efficiency of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) single-nanowire solar cells (SNSCs) by engineering the cross section of the nanowire from circular into a front-opening crescent shape. The proposed SNSCs show a broadband and highly tunable optical absorption compared to the conventional circular counterparts under both transverse electric and transverse magnetic incidences, enabling an enhancement ratio of over 40 % in both the photocurrent density and the photoconversion efficiency in a-Si:H SNSCs with a diameter of 200 nm. We further show that the superior performance can be well maintained under a wide range of incident angle and is robust to the blunt crescent edges.

  13. Atmospheric Pressure Micro-Thermal-Plasma-Jet Crystallization of Amorphous Silicon Strips for High-Performance Thin Film Transistor Fabrication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morisaki, Seiji; Nakatani, Taichi; Shin, Ryota; Higashi, Seiichiro

    2015-09-01

    Zone melting recrystallization (ZMR) of amorphous silicon (a-Si) strips by micro-thermal-plasma-jet (u-TPJ) irradiation is quite effective to suppress grain boundaries (GBs) except sigma 3 coincidence site lattice (CSL). Intra-grain defects in 1 μm wide strips were significantly reduced by suppressing the agglomeration of molten Si with low temperature condition around melting point of crystalline Si. Thin film transistors (TFTs), using optimized ZMR condition by scanning speed of 1500 mm/s demonstrated extremely high performance with field effect mobility (uFE) of 443 cm2/Vs and swing factor (S) of 210 mV/dec. Part of this work was supported by the Research Institute for Nanodevice and Bio Systems (RNBS), Hiroshima University.

  14. Effect of substrate temperature on deposition rate of rf plasma-deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andújar, J. L.; Bertran, E.; Canillas, A.; Campmany, J.; Morenza, J. L.

    1991-03-01

    We present a study about the influence of substrate temperature on deposition rate of hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films prepared by rf glow discharge decomposition of pure silane gas in a capacitively coupled plasma reactor. Two different behaviors are observed depending on deposition pressure conditions. At high pressure (30 Pa) the influence of substrate temperature on deposition rate is mainly through a modification of gas density, in such a way that the substrate temperature of deposition rate is similar to pressure dependence at constant temperature. On the contrary, at low pressure (3 Pa), a gas density effect cannot account for the observed increase of deposition rate as substrate temperature rises above 450 K with an activation energy of 1.1 kcal/mole. In accordance with laser-induced fluorescence measurements reported in the literature, this rise has been ascribed to an increase of secondary electron emission from the growing film surface as a result of molecular hydrogen desorption.

  15. Enhanced Photoelectrical Response of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Single-Nanowire Solar Cells by Front-Opening Crescent Design.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhenhai; Cao, Guoyang; Shang, Aixue; Lei, Dang Yuan; Zhang, Cheng; Gao, Pingqi; Ye, Jichun; Li, Xiaofeng

    2016-12-01

    We report an approach for substantially enhancing the light-trapping and photoconversion efficiency of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) single-nanowire solar cells (SNSCs) by engineering the cross section of the nanowire from circular into a front-opening crescent shape. The proposed SNSCs show a broadband and highly tunable optical absorption compared to the conventional circular counterparts under both transverse electric and transverse magnetic incidences, enabling an enhancement ratio of over 40 % in both the photocurrent density and the photoconversion efficiency in a-Si:H SNSCs with a diameter of 200 nm. We further show that the superior performance can be well maintained under a wide range of incident angle and is robust to the blunt crescent edges.

  16. Optimization of transparent and reflecting electrodes for amorphous silicon solar cells. Annual subcontract report, April 1, 1994--March 31, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, R.G.

    1995-10-01

    Transparent and reflecting electrodes are important parts of the structure of amorphous silicon solar cells. We report improved methods for depositing zinc oxide, deposition of tin nitride as a potential reflection-enhancing diffusion barrier between the a-Si and back metal electrodes. Highly conductive and transparent fluorine-doped zinc oxide was successfully produced on small areas by atmospheric pressure CVD from a less hazardous zinc precursor, zinc acetylacetonate. The optical properties measured for tin nitride showed that the back-reflection would be decreased if tin nitride were used instead of zinc oxide as a barrier layer over silver on aluminum. Niobium-doped titanium dioxide was produced with high enough electrical conductivity so that normal voltages and fill factors were obtained for a-Si cells made on it.

  17. Kinetics of the laser-induced solid phase crystallization of amorphous silicon-Time-resolved Raman spectroscopy and computer simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Očenášek, J.; Novák, P.; Prušáková, L.

    2017-01-01

    This study demonstrates that a laser-induced crystallization instrumented with Raman spectroscopy is, in general, an effective tool to study the thermally activated crystallization kinetics. It is shown, for the solid phase crystallization of an amorphous silicon thin film, that the integral intensity of Raman spectra corresponding to the crystalline phase grows linearly in the time-logarithmic scale. A mathematical model, which assumes random nucleation and crystal growth, was designed to simulate the crystallization process in the non-uniform temperature field induced by laser. The model is based on solving the Eikonal equation and the Arhenius temperature dependence of the crystal nucleation and the growth rate. These computer simulations successfully approximate the crystallization process kinetics and suggest that laser-induced crystallization is primarily thermally activated.

  18. See-through amorphous silicon solar cells with selectively transparent and conducting photonic crystal back reflectors for building integrated photovoltaics

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Yang; O’Brien, Paul G.; Ozin, Geoffrey A. E-mail: kherani@ecf.utoronto.ca; Kherani, Nazir P. E-mail: kherani@ecf.utoronto.ca

    2013-11-25

    Thin semi-transparent hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells with selectively transparent and conducting photonic crystal (STCPC) back-reflectors are demonstrated. Short circuit current density of a 135 nm thick a-Si:H cell with a given STCPC back-reflector is enhanced by as much as 23% in comparison to a reference cell with an ITO film functioning as its rear contact. Concurrently, solar irradiance of 295 W/m{sup 2} and illuminance of 3480 lux are transmitted through the cell with a given STCPC back reflector under AM1.5 Global tilt illumination, indicating its utility as a source of space heating and lighting, respectively, in building integrated photovoltaic applications.

  19. Vibrational mean free paths and thermal conductivity of amorphous silicon from non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sääskilahti, K.; Oksanen, J.; Tulkki, J.; McGaughey, A. J. H.; Volz, S.

    2016-12-01

    The frequency-dependent mean free paths (MFPs) of vibrational heat carriers in amorphous silicon are predicted from the length dependence of the spectrally decomposed heat current (SDHC) obtained from non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. The results suggest a (frequency)- 2 scaling of the room-temperature MFPs below 5 THz. The MFPs exhibit a local maximum at a frequency of 8 THz and fall below 1 nm at frequencies greater than 10 THz, indicating localized vibrations. The MFPs extracted from sub-10 nm system-size simulations are used to predict the length-dependence of thermal conductivity up to system sizes of 100 nm and good agreement is found with independent molecular dynamics simulations. Weighting the SDHC by the frequency-dependent quantum occupation function provides a simple and convenient method to account for quantum statistics and provides reasonable agreement with the experimentally-measured trend and magnitude.

  20. Chemiluminescence lateral flow immunoassay cartridge with integrated amorphous silicon photosensors array for human serum albumin detection in urine samples.

    PubMed

    Zangheri, Martina; Di Nardo, Fabio; Mirasoli, Mara; Anfossi, Laura; Nascetti, Augusto; Caputo, Domenico; De Cesare, Giampiero; Guardigli, Massimo; Baggiani, Claudio; Roda, Aldo

    2016-12-01

    A novel and disposable cartridge for chemiluminescent (CL)-lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) with integrated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) photosensors array was developed and applied to quantitatively detect human serum albumin (HSA) in urine samples. The presented analytical method is based on an indirect competitive immunoassay using horseradish peroxidase (HRP) as a tracer, which is detected by adding the luminol/enhancer/hydrogen peroxide CL cocktail. The system comprises an array of a-Si:H photosensors deposited on a glass substrate, on which a PDMS cartridge that houses the LFIA strip and the reagents necessary for the CL immunoassay was optically coupled to obtain an integrated analytical device controlled by a portable read-out electronics. The method is simple and fast with a detection limit of 2.5 mg L(-1) for HSA in urine and a dynamic range up to 850 mg L(-1), which is suitable for measuring physiological levels of HSA in urine samples and their variation in different diseases (micro- and macroalbuminuria). The use of CL detection allowed accurate and objective analyte quantification in a dynamic range that extends from femtomoles to picomoles. The analytical performances of this integrated device were found to be comparable with those obtained using a charge-coupled device (CCD) as a reference off-chip detector. These results demonstrate that integrating the a-Si:H photosensors array with CL-LFIA technique provides compact, sensitive and low-cost systems for CL-based bioassays with a wide range of applications for in-field and point-of-care bioanalyses. Graphical Abstract A novel integrated portable device was developed for direct quantitative detection of human serum albumin (HSA) in urine samples, exploiting a chemiluminescence lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA). The device comprises a cartridge that holds the LFIA strip and all the reagents necessary for the analysis, an array of amorphous silicon photosensors, and a custom read-out electronics.

  1. In situ spectroscopic study of the plastic deformation of amorphous silicon under nonhydrostatic conditions induced by indentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbig, Y. B.; Michaels, C. A.; Bradby, J. E.; Haberl, B.; Cook, R. F.

    2015-12-01

    Indentation-induced plastic deformation of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin films was studied by in situ Raman imaging of the deformed contact region of an indented sample, employing a Raman spectroscopy-enhanced instrumented indentation technique. Quantitative analyses of the generated in situ Raman maps provide unique insight into the phase behavior of as-implanted a-Si. In particular, the occurrence and evolving spatial distribution of changes in the a-Si structure caused by processes, such as polyamorphization and crystallization, induced by indentation loading were measured. The experimental results are linked with previously published papers on the plastic deformation of a-Si under hydrostatic compression and shear deformation to establish a sequence for the development of deformation of a-Si under indentation loading. The sequence involves three distinct deformation mechanisms of a-Si: (1) reversible deformation, (2) increase in coordination defects (onset of plastic deformation), and (3) phase transformation. Estimated conditions for the occurrence of these mechanisms are given with respect to relevant intrinsic and extrinsic parameters, such as indentation stress, volumetric strain, and bond angle distribution (a measure for the structural order of the amorphous network). The induced volumetric strains are accommodated solely by reversible deformation of the tetrahedral network when exposed to small indentation stresses. At greater indentation stresses, the increased volumetric strains in the tetrahedral network lead to the formation of predominately fivefold coordination defects, which seems to mark the onset of irreversible or plastic deformation of the a-Si thin film. Further increase in the indentation stress appears to initiate the formation of sixfold coordinated atomic arrangements. These sixfold coordinated arrangements may maintain their amorphous tetrahedral structure with a high density of coordination defects or nucleate as a new crystalline

  2. In situ spectroscopic study of the plastic deformation of amorphous silicon under non-hydrostatic conditions induced by indentation

    PubMed Central

    Gerbig, Y.B; Michaels, C.A.; Bradby, J.E.; Haberl, B.; Cook, R.F.

    2016-01-01

    Indentation-induced plastic deformation of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin films was studied by in situ Raman imaging of the deformed contact region of an indented sample, employing a Raman spectroscopy-enhanced instrumented indentation technique. Quantitative analyses of the generated in situ Raman maps provide unique, new insight into the phase behavior of as-implanted a-Si. In particular, the occurrence and evolving spatial distribution of changes in the a-Si structure caused by processes, such as polyamorphization and crystallization, induced by indentation loading were measured. The experimental results are linked with previously published work on the plastic deformation of a-Si under hydrostatic compression and shear deformation to establish a sequence for the development of deformation of a-Si under indentation loading. The sequence involves three distinct deformation mechanisms of a-Si: (1) reversible deformation, (2) increase in coordination defects (onset of plastic deformation), and (3) phase transformation. Estimated conditions for the occurrence of these mechanisms are given with respect to relevant intrinsic and extrinsic parameters, such as indentation stress, volumetric strain, and bond angle distribution (a measure for the structural order of the amorphous network). The induced volumetric strains are accommodated solely by reversible deformation of the tetrahedral network when exposed to small indentation stresses. At greater indentation stresses, the increased volumetric strains in the tetrahedral network lead to the formation of predominately five-fold coordination defects, which seems to mark the onset of irreversible or plastic deformation of the a-Si thin film. Further increase in the indentation stress appears to initiate the formation of six-fold coordinated atomic arrangements. These six-fold coordinated arrangements may maintain their amorphous tetrahedral structure with a high density of coordination defects or nucleate as a new crystalline

  3. In situ spectroscopic study of the plastic deformation of amorphous silicon under non-hydrostatic conditions induced by indentation.

    PubMed

    Gerbig, Y B; Michaels, C A; Bradby, J E; Haberl, B; Cook, R F

    2015-12-01

    Indentation-induced plastic deformation of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin films was studied by in situ Raman imaging of the deformed contact region of an indented sample, employing a Raman spectroscopy-enhanced instrumented indentation technique. Quantitative analyses of the generated in situ Raman maps provide unique, new insight into the phase behavior of as-implanted a-Si. In particular, the occurrence and evolving spatial distribution of changes in the a-Si structure caused by processes, such as polyamorphization and crystallization, induced by indentation loading were measured. The experimental results are linked with previously published work on the plastic deformation of a-Si under hydrostatic compression and shear deformation to establish a sequence for the development of deformation of a-Si under indentation loading. The sequence involves three distinct deformation mechanisms of a-Si: (1) reversible deformation, (2) increase in coordination defects (onset of plastic deformation), and (3) phase transformation. Estimated conditions for the occurrence of these mechanisms are given with respect to relevant intrinsic and extrinsic parameters, such as indentation stress, volumetric strain, and bond angle distribution (a measure for the structural order of the amorphous network). The induced volumetric strains are accommodated solely by reversible deformation of the tetrahedral network when exposed to small indentation stresses. At greater indentation stresses, the increased volumetric strains in the tetrahedral network lead to the formation of predominately five-fold coordination defects, which seems to mark the onset of irreversible or plastic deformation of the a-Si thin film. Further increase in the indentation stress appears to initiate the formation of six-fold coordinated atomic arrangements. These six-fold coordinated arrangements may maintain their amorphous tetrahedral structure with a high density of coordination defects or nucleate as a new crystalline

  4. Amorphous silicon waveguides and light modulators for integrated photonics realized by low-temperature plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor deposition.

    PubMed

    Cocorullo, G; Corte, F G; Rendina, I; Minarini, C; Rubino, A; Terzini, E

    1996-12-15

    A new amorphous silicon waveguide is realized by use of amorphous silicon carbon as cladding material. The structure is characterized both experimentally and theoretically, and its application for optical interconnections in photonic integrated circuits on silicon motherboards is proposed. The fabrication process is based on low-temperature (220 degrees C) plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor deposition and is compatible with standard microelectronic processes. Propagation losses of 1.8 dB/cm have been measured at the fiber-optic wavelength of 1.3 microm. A strong thermo-optic coefficient has been measured in this material at this wavelength and exploited for the realization of a light-intensity modulator based on a Fabry-Perot interferometer that is tunable by temperature.

  5. From amorphous to crystalline silicon nanoclusters: structural effects on exciton properties.

    PubMed

    Borrero-González, L J; Nunes, L A O; Guimarães, F E G; Wojcik, J; Mascher, P; Gennaro, A M; Tirado, M; Comedi, D

    2011-12-21

    Synchrotron x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and electron spin resonance (ESR) experiments were performed to determine, in combination with Raman spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction (XRD) data from previous reports, the structure and paramagnetic defect status of Si-nanoclusters (ncls) at various intermediate formation stages in Si-rich Si oxide films having different Si concentrations (y = 0.36-0.42 in Si(y)O(1-y)), fabricated by electron cyclotron resonance plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition and isochronally (2 h) annealed at various temperatures (T(a) = 900-1100 °C) under either Ar or (Ar + 5%H(2)) atmospheres. The corresponding emission properties were studied by stationary and time dependent photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy in correlation with the structural and defect properties. To explain the experimental data, we propose crystallization by nucleation within already existing amorphous Si-ncls as the mechanism for the formation of the Si nanocrystals in the oxide matrix. The cluster-size dependent partial crystallization of Si-ncls at intermediate T(a) can be qualitatively understood in terms of a 'crystalline core-amorphous shell' Si-ncl model. The amorphous shell, which is invisible in most diffraction and electron microscopy experiments, is found to have an important impact on light emission. As the crystalline core grows at the expense of a thinning amorphous shell with increasing T(a), the PL undergoes a transition from a regime dominated by disorder-induced effects to a situation where quantum confinement of excitons prevails.

  6. SIMS Characterization of Amorphous Silicon Germanium Alloys Grown by Hot-Wire Deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Reedy, R. C.; Mason, A. R.; Nelson, B. P.; Xu, Y.

    1998-10-16

    In this paper, we present methods for the quantitative secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) characterization of amorphous SiGe:H alloy materials. A set of samples was grown with germanium content ranging from 5% to 77% and was subsequently analyzed by electron probe X-ray microanalysis (EPMA) and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA). Calibration of the SIMS quantification was performed with respect to EPMA data for germanium and NRA data for hydrogen.

  7. The silicon/zinc oxide interface in amorphous silicon-based thin-film solar cells: Understanding an empirically optimized contact

    SciTech Connect

    Gerlach, D.; Wilks, R. G.; Wimmer, M.; Felix, R.; Gorgoi, M.; Lips, K.; Rech, B.; Wippler, D.; Mueck, A.; Meier, M.; Huepkes, J.; Lozac'h, M.; Ueda, S.; Sumiya, M.; Yoshikawa, H.; Kobayashi, K.; Baer, M.

    2013-07-08

    The electronic structure of the interface between the boron-doped oxygenated amorphous silicon 'window layer' (a-SiO{sub x}:H(B)) and aluminum-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) was investigated using hard x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and compared to that of the boron-doped microcrystalline silicon ({mu}c-Si:H(B))/ZnO:Al interface. The corresponding valence band offsets have been determined to be (-2.87 {+-} 0.27) eV and (-3.37 {+-} 0.27) eV, respectively. A lower tunnel junction barrier height at the {mu}c-Si:H(B)/ZnO:Al interface compared to that at the a-SiO{sub x}:H(B)/ZnO:Al interface is found and linked to the higher device performances in cells where a {mu}c-Si:H(B) buffer between the a-Si:H p-i-n absorber stack and the ZnO:Al contact is employed.

  8. On the Discontinuity of Polycrystalline Silicon Thin Films Realized by Aluminum-Induced Crystallization of PECVD-Deposited Amorphous Si

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Qingtao; Wang, Tao; Yan, Hui; Zhang, Ming; Mai, Yaohua

    2017-04-01

    Crystallization of glass/Aluminum (50, 100, 200 nm) /hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) (50, 100, 200 nm) samples by Aluminum-induced crystallization (AIC) is investigated in this article. After annealing and wet etching, we found that the continuity of the polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin films was strongly dependent on the double layer thicknesses. Increasing the a-Si:H/Al layer thickness ratio would improve the film microcosmic continuity. However, too thick Si layer might cause convex or peeling off during annealing. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) are introduced to analyze the process of the peeling off. When the thickness ratio of a-Si:H/Al layer is around 1 to 1.5 and a-Si:H layer is less than 200 nm, the poly-Si film has a good continuity. Hall measurements are introduced to determine the electrical properties. Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show that the poly-Si film is completely crystallized and has a preferential (111) orientation.

  9. Localized surface plasmon-enhanced photoluminescence of amorphous silicon quantum dots through plasmonic subwavelength crossed metallic gratings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Tsung-Han; Lin, Ming-Yi; Hsiao, Li-Jen; Choi, Wing-Kit; Lin, Hoang Yan

    2016-04-01

    We investigate experimentally the enhancing effect of plasmonic subwavelength crossed Ag gratings on photoluminescence (PL) from the amorphous silicon quantum dots (a-Si QDs) embedded in a central silicon-rich SiO x film of the Ag/SiO x :a-Si QDs/Ag sandwich nanostructures. The use of the crossed Ag grating structure as the top layer in the sandwich nanostructures results in a 2-fold increase in the PL peak intensity and a 1.34-fold increase in the integrated emission intensity compared with the use of a one-dimensional (1D) Ag grating top layer, and a 1.53-fold peak intensity increase compared with that of a SiO x :a-Si QDs/Ag structure without a Ag top layer. These significant PL enhancements can be attributed to the high light-extraction efficiency of the polarization-independent crossed metallic grating structure, the strong out-coupling of localized surface plasmons (LSPs), and the strong a-Si QD-LSP coupling.

  10. On the Discontinuity of Polycrystalline Silicon Thin Films Realized by Aluminum-Induced Crystallization of PECVD-Deposited Amorphous Si

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Qingtao; Wang, Tao; Yan, Hui; Zhang, Ming; Mai, Yaohua

    2017-01-01

    Crystallization of glass/Aluminum (50, 100, 200 nm) /hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) (50, 100, 200 nm) samples by Aluminum-induced crystallization (AIC) is investigated in this article. After annealing and wet etching, we found that the continuity of the polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin films was strongly dependent on the double layer thicknesses. Increasing the a-Si:H/Al layer thickness ratio would improve the film microcosmic continuity. However, too thick Si layer might cause convex or peeling off during annealing. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) are introduced to analyze the process of the peeling off. When the thickness ratio of a-Si:H/Al layer is around 1 to 1.5 and a-Si:H layer is less than 200 nm, the poly-Si film has a good continuity. Hall measurements are introduced to determine the electrical properties. Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show that the poly-Si film is completely crystallized and has a preferential (111) orientation.

  11. Silanization effect on the photoluminescence characteristics of crystalline and amorphous silicon nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Caregnato, Paula; Dell'Arciprete, Maria Laura; Gonzalez, Mónica Cristina

    2013-09-01

    Silicon nanoparticles synthesized by two different methods were surface modified with 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane. The particles of ~2 nm size exhibit photoluminescence (PL) in the UV-Vis range of the spectrum. The most intense PL band at 430 nm with an emission lifetime of 1-2 ns is attributed to the presence of the surface defects Si-O-Si, generated after anchoring the organic molecule onto the interface. The excitation-emission matrix of this band is essentially independent of the technique of synthesis, crystalline structure, and size of the silicon nanoparticles.

  12. Low-loss amorphous silicon wire waveguide for integrated photonics: effect of fabrication process and the thermal stability.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shiyang; Lo, G Q; Kwong, D L

    2010-11-22

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) wire waveguides were fabricated by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition and anisotropic dry etching. With the optimized fabrication process, the propagation losses of as low as 3.2 ± 0.2 dB/cm for the TE mode and 2.3 ± 0.1 dB/cm for the TM mode were measured for the 200 nm (height) × 500 nm (width) wire waveguides at 1550 nm using the standard cutback method. The loss becomes larger at shorter wavelength (~4.4 dB/cm for TE and ~5.0 dB/cm for TM at 1520 nm) and smaller at longer wavelength (~1.9 dB/cm for TE and ~1.4 dB/cm for TM at 1620 nm). With the waveguide width shrinking from 500 nm to 300 nm, the TM mode loss keeps almost unchanged whereas the TE mode loss increases, indicating that the predominant loss contributor is the waveguide sidewall roughness, similar to the crystalline silicon waveguides. Although the a-Si:H and the upper cladding SiO2 were both deposited at 400°C, the propagation loss of the fabricated a-Si:H wire waveguides starts to increase upon furnace annealing under atmosphere at a temperature larger than 300°C: ~13-15 dB/cm after 400°C/30 min annealing and >70 dB/cm after 500°C/30 min annealing, which can be attributed to hydrogen out-diffusion. Even higher temperature (i.e., >600°C) annealing leads to the propagation loss approaching to the polycrystalline silicon counterparts (~40-50 dB/cm) due to onset of a-Si:H solid-phase crystallization.

  13. Theory of bond-length variations in relaxed, strained, and amorphous silicon-germanium alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzoumanekas, C.; Kelires, P. C.

    2002-11-01

    We present a theoretical study of bond-length and angle variations in relaxed, epitaxially strained, and amorphous Si1-xGex alloys. Our approach is based on Monte Carlo simulations, within the semigrand-canonical ensemble utilizing Ising-like identity flips, and in conjuction with energies calculated using the empirical potential of Tersoff [Phys. Rev. B 39, 5566 (1989)]. The method offers great statistical precision enabling us to extract clear variations through the whole composition range and for all types of bonds. Our simulations show that in relaxed crystalline alloys, where the lattice constant takes its natural value, bond lengths depend on composition x and that these variations are type specific, in agreement with recent experimental studies. Similar type-specific variations are found for the angles and the second-nearest-neighbor distances. This analysis also reveals that the negative deviation of the lattice constant from Vegard's law is mainly due to radial, and not angular, relaxations. In the epitaxially strained alloys, bond lengths decrease with x due to the two-dimensional confinement in the growth layers, in good agreement with predictions based on the macroscopic theory of elasticity. The dimer bond lengths at the (100)-(2×1)-reconstructed alloy surface remain nearly constant, and they are elongated with respect to the bulk values. In the amorphous alloys, we unravel a remarkable behavior of bond lengths at the dilute low-x alloy limit, characterized by strong relaxations and elongation. Furthermore, the bond lengths decrease with increasing Ge content. We offer an explanation of this effect based on the analysis of the enthalpy of formation of the amorphous alloy.

  14. Preparation and characterization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films and thin film solar cells produced by ion plating techniques. Final report, 1 January 1979-31 May 1980

    SciTech Connect

    1980-05-01

    Ion plating techniques for the preparation of hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films have been successfully developed. The technique involves essentially the evaporation of elemental silicon through a d.c. produced hydrogen plasma. In this way hydrogen has been successfully incorporated into amorphous silicon films in concentrations as high as 30 atomic percent. Infrared spectroscopy indicates the usual SiH/sub x/ stretching mode at approximately 2000 cm/sup -1/. Further evidence for the bonding of hydrogen was obtained from ESR measurement of hydrogenated and unhydrogenated samples. The measured unpaired spin density was a factor of 25 less in the hydrogenated sample. The optical absorption edges of the hydrogenated films fell in the usual range between 1.7 and 1.9 eV. Electrical conductivity measurements indicated a substantial reduction in the density of defect states in the gap as expected. It was also shown that hydrogenated amorphous silicon prepared by ion-plating could be doped by co-evaporation of the dopant element during film deposition. Both co-evaporated phosphorous and co-evaporated bismuth have been found to substantially increase the dark conductivity of a-Si:H while shifting the Fermi level towards the conduction band edge. An x-ray method for estimating the density and hydrogen content of a-Si:H has been developed. The measurement of strain in a-Si:H thin films is discussed. (WHK)

  15. ENHANCED GROWTH RATE AND SILANE UTILIZATION IN AMORPHOUS SILICON AND NANOCRYSTALLINE-SILICON SOLAR CELL DEPOSITION VIA GAS PHASE ADDITIVES

    SciTech Connect

    Ridgeway, R G; Hegedus, S S; Podraza, N J

    2012-08-31

    Air Products set out to investigate the impact of additives on the deposition rate of both CSi and Si-H films. One criterion for additives was that they could be used in conventional PECVD processing, which would require sufficient vapor pressure to deliver material to the process chamber at the required flow rates. The flow rate required would depend on the size of the substrate onto which silicon films were being deposited, potentially ranging from 200 mm diameter wafers to the 5.7 m2 glass substrates used in GEN 8.5 flat-panel display tools. In choosing higher-order silanes, both disilane and trisilane had sufficient vapor pressure to withdraw gas at the required flow rates of up to 120 sccm. This report presents results obtained from testing at Air Products electronic technology laboratories, located in Allentown, PA, which focused on developing processes on a commercial IC reactor using silane and mixtures of silane plus additives. These processes were deployed to compare deposition rates and film properties with and without additives, with a goal of maximizing the deposition rate while maintaining or improving film properties.

  16. Nitrogen-doped amorphous carbon-silicon core-shell structures for high-power supercapacitor electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tali, S. A. Safiabadi; Soleimani-Amiri, S.; Sanaee, Z.; Mohajerzadeh, S.

    2017-02-01

    We report successful deposition of nitrogen-doped amorphous carbon films to realize high-power core-shell supercapacitor electrodes. A catalyst-free method is proposed to deposit large-area stable, highly conformal and highly conductive nitrogen-doped amorphous carbon (a-C:N) films by means of a direct-current plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique (DC-PECVD). This approach exploits C2H2 and N2 gases as the sources of carbon and nitrogen constituents and can be applied to various micro and nanostructures. Although as-deposited a-C:N films have a porous surface, their porosity can be significantly improved through a modification process consisting of Ni-assisted annealing and etching steps. The electrochemical analyses demonstrated the superior performance of the modified a-C:N as a supercapacitor active material, where specific capacitance densities as high as 42 F/g and 8.5 mF/cm2 (45 F/cm3) on silicon microrod arrays were achieved. Furthermore, this supercapacitor electrode showed less than 6% degradation of capacitance over 5000 cycles of a galvanostatic charge-discharge test. It also exhibited a relatively high energy density of 2.3 × 103 Wh/m3 (8.3 × 106 J/m3) and ultra-high power density of 2.6 × 108 W/m3 which is among the highest reported values.

  17. Nitrogen-doped amorphous carbon-silicon core-shell structures for high-power supercapacitor electrodes

    PubMed Central

    Tali, S. A. Safiabadi; Soleimani-Amiri, S.; Sanaee, Z.; Mohajerzadeh, S.

    2017-01-01

    We report successful deposition of nitrogen-doped amorphous carbon films to realize high-power core-shell supercapacitor electrodes. A catalyst-free method is proposed to deposit large-area stable, highly conformal and highly conductive nitrogen-doped amorphous carbon (a-C:N) films by means of a direct-current plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique (DC-PECVD). This approach exploits C2H2 and N2 gases as the sources of carbon and nitrogen constituents and can be applied to various micro and nanostructures. Although as-deposited a-C:N films have a porous surface, their porosity can be significantly improved through a modification process consisting of Ni-assisted annealing and etching steps. The electrochemical analyses demonstrated the superior performance of the modified a-C:N as a supercapacitor active material, where specific capacitance densities as high as 42 F/g and 8.5 mF/cm2 (45 F/cm3) on silicon microrod arrays were achieved. Furthermore, this supercapacitor electrode showed less than 6% degradation of capacitance over 5000 cycles of a galvanostatic charge-discharge test. It also exhibited a relatively high energy density of 2.3 × 103 Wh/m3 (8.3 × 106 J/m3) and ultra-high power density of 2.6 × 108 W/m3 which is among the highest reported values. PMID:28186204

  18. Bulk Formation of Metallic Glasses and Amorphous Silicon from the Melt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spaepen, F.

    1985-01-01

    By using metallic glass compositions with a high relative glass transition temperature, such as Pd40Ni40P20, homogeneous nucleation also becomes negligible. Large (5g) masses of this alloys were obtained using a molten B2O3 flux. Presently, bulk glass formation in iron based glasses is being investigated. It is expected that if an undercooling of about 250K can be achieved in a Ge or Si melt, formation of the amorphous semiconductor phase (rather than the crystal) may be kinetically favored. The volumetric behavior of undercooled liquid Ga droplet dispersion is investigated by dilatometry. A theoretical model (both analytical and numerical) was developed for transient nucleation in glass forming melts. The model, originally designed for isothermal conditions, was extended to continuous quenching. It is being applied to glass formation in various metallic and oxide systems. A further refinement will be the inclusion of diffusion controlled interfacial rearrangements governing the growth of the crystal embryos.

  19. Uniform dehydrogenation of amorphous silicon thin films using a wide thermal annealing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Yong Chan; Seong, Sejong; Lee, Taehoon; Ahn, Jinho; Kim, Tae Hyun; Yeo, Won-Jae; Park, In-Sung

    2017-02-01

    To prevent ablation caused by sudden hydrogen eruption during crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous Si (a-Si:H) thin films, a wide dehydrogenation thermal annealing (wDTA) system was developed to reduce hydrogen content in a-Si:H film prior to its crystallization process. The annealed a-Si:H films were fully dehydrogenated and nanocrystallized by the wDTA system. Raman scattering measurement revealed that the dehydrogenation process lowers the hydrogen content through disappearance of the peak intensity at 2000 cm-1. The a-Si:H film was transformed into nanocrystallized Si with lower residual stress. The major advantage of this wDTA was the large area uniformity of the thermal and the resulting material properties for 8 generation display. The uniform material characteristics of the hydrogen content, thickness, energy bandgap, and transmittance of the annealed Si films in the overall area was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, and UV-vis spectrometer measurement.

  20. Photocharge transport and recombination measurements in amorphous silicon films and solar cells by photoconductive frequency mixing. Annual subcontract report, May 13, 1994--May 12, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Braunstein, R; Yang, Y; Dong, S

    1995-10-01

    The continuous decay of electron drift mobility in intrinsic a-Si:H and a-SiC:H upon light soaking was investigated by the photomixing technique. The photoconductivity, lifetime and drift mobility in intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC:H) while light-soaking were determined using a photomixing technique. In addition to the decay of the photoconductivity and electron lifetime, continuous decay of the electron drift mobility was found during the light soaking process, which reveals a new phenomenon associated with the Staebler-Wronski effect. The drift mobility decreased by a factor of 2 for 20 hour light soaking at 2.5 sun intensity. Experimental data were fitted to a stretched exponential law. Different stretched-exponential parameters for photoconductivity, lifetime and drift mobility were obtained, which indicates the production of defects with different generation kinetics upon light soaking.

  1. Impact of solid-phase crystallization of amorphous silicon on the chemical structure of the buried Si/ZnO thin film solar cell interface

    SciTech Connect

    Bar, M.; Wimmer, M.; Wilks, R. G.; Roczen, M.; Gerlach, D.; Ruske, F.; Lips, K.; Rech, B.; Weinhardt, L.; Blum, M.; Pookpanratana, S.; Krause, S.; Zhang, Y.; Heske, C.; Yang, W.; Denlinger, J. D.

    2010-04-30

    The chemical interface structure between phosphorus-doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon and aluminum-doped zinc oxide thin films is investigated with soft x-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) before and after solid-phase crystallization (SPC) at 600C. In addition to the expected SPC-induced phase transition from amorphous to polycrystalline silicon, our XES data indicates a pronounced chemical interaction at the buried Si/ZnO interface. In particular, we find an SPC-enhanced formation of Si-O bonds and the accumulation of Zn in close proximity to the interface. For an assumed closed and homogeneous SiO2 interlayer, an effective thickness of (5+2)nm after SPC could be estimated.

  2. Improving the organic/Si heterojunction hybrid solar cell property by optimizing PEDOT:PSS film and with amorphous silicon as back surface field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Hongbin; Cai, Hongkun; Du, Yangyang; Dai, Xiaowan; Sun, Yun; Ni, Jian; Li, Juan; Zhang, Dexian; Zhang, Jianjun

    2017-01-01

    Organic/Si hybrid heterojunction hybrid solar cells have got a great progress. The hybrid device may be promising in terms of reducing cost due to its simple technological process. It is crucial for high efficiency solar cells to form better coating films on the Si substrate. Here, the performance of organic/Si heterojunction hybrid solar cells is obviously enhanced by adding surfactant (FS300) into poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(styrenesulfonate) film and the device with amorphous silicon as back surface field is successfully fabricated. The proper amount of surfactant addition improves the uniformity and homogeneous of the polymer film that can be reflected by scanning electron microscope and atomic force microscope, which allows good contact on the texture-Si substrate resulting in excellent device property. Also, the power conversion efficiency of cells is boosted to 9.37 from 7.31% displayed a 28% enhancement by embedding amorphous silicon thin film layer at rear interface as holes blocking layer. The insertion layer of amorphous silicon enhances the extraction of photon-generated carrier and suppresses the recombination of hole-electron at the rear cathode. Which results all improvement in the short-circuit current density, the open-circuit voltage and the fill factor. By optimizing the polymer film property and inserting the hole blocking layer, the performance of hybrid Si/organic hybrid solar cells is greatly improved.

  3. Optoelectronic transport properties in amorphous/crystalline silicon solar cell heterojunctions measured by frequency-domain photocarrier radiometry: Multi-parameter measurement reliability and precision studies

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Y.; Melnikov, A.; Mandelis, A.; Halliop, B.; Kherani, N. P.; Zhu, R.

    2015-03-15

    A theoretical one-dimensional two-layer linear photocarrier radiometry (PCR) model including the presence of effective interface carrier traps was used to evaluate the transport parameters of p-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and n-type crystalline silicon (c-Si) passivated by an intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (i-layer) nanolayer. Several crystalline Si heterojunction structures were examined to investigate the influence of the i-layer thickness and the doping concentration of the a-Si:H layer. The experimental data of a series of heterojunction structures with intrinsic thin layers were fitted to PCR theory to gain insight into the transport properties of these devices. The quantitative multi-parameter results were studied with regard to measurement reliability (uniqueness) and precision using two independent computational best-fit programs. The considerable influence on the transport properties of the entire structure of two key parameters that can limit the performance of amorphous thin film solar cells, namely, the doping concentration of the a-Si:H layer and the i-layer thickness was demonstrated. It was shown that PCR can be applied to the non-destructive characterization of a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction solar cells yielding reliable measurements of the key parameters.

  4. The effect of amorphous silicon surface hydrogenation on morphology, wettability and its implication on the adsorption of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filali, Larbi; Brahmi, Yamina; Sib, Jamal Dine; Bouhekka, Ahmed; Benlakehal, Djamel; Bouizem, Yahya; Kebab, Aissa; Chahed, Larbi

    2016-10-01

    We study the effect of amorphous silicon (a-Si) surface hydrogenation on Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) adsorption. A set of (a-Si) films was prepared by radio frequency magnetron sputtering (RFMS) and after deposition; they were treated in molecular hydrogen ambient at different pressures (1-3 Pa). Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflection (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) were used to study the hydrogenation effect and BSA adsorption. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to evaluate morphological changes caused by hydrogenation. The wettability of the films was measured using contact angle measurement, and in the case of the hydrogenated surfaces, it was found to be driven by surface roughness. FTIR-ATR spectroscopy and SE measurements show that proteins had the strongest affinity toward the surfaces with the highest hydrogen content and their secondary structure was affected by a significant decrease of the α-helix component (-27%) compared with the proteins adsorbed on the un-treated surface, which had a predominantly α-helix (45%) structure. The adsorbed protein layer was found to be densely packed with a large thickness (30.9 nm) on the hydrogen-rich surfaces. The most important result is that the surface hydrogen content was the dominant factor, compared to wettability and morphology, for protein adsorption.

  5. Utilization of amorphous silicon carbide (a-Si:C:H) as a resistive layer in gas microstrip detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, W.S.; Cho, H.S.; Perez-Mendez, V.; Gong, W.G.

    1995-04-01

    Thin semiconducting films of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and its carbon alloy (a-Si:C:H) were applied to gas microstrip detectors in order to control gain instabilities due to charges on the substrate. Thin ({approximately}100nm) layers of a-Si:H or p-doped a-Si:C:H were placed either over or under the electrodes using the plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technique to provide the substrate with a suitable surface conductivity. By changing the carbon content and boron doping density, the sheet resistance of the a-Si:C:H coating could be successfully controlled in the range of 10{sup 12} {approximately} 10{sup 17} {Omega}/{four_gradient}, and the light sensitivity, which causes the resistivity to vary with ambient light conditions, was minimized. An avalanche gain of 5000 and energy resolution of 20% FWHM were achieved and the gain remained constant over a week of operation. A-Si:C:H film is an attractive alternative to ion-implanted or semiconducting glass due to the wide range of resistivities possible and the feasibility of making deposits over a large area at low cost.

  6. Microspot-based ELISA in microfluidics: chemiluminescence and colorimetry detection using integrated thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon photodiodes.

    PubMed

    Novo, Pedro; Prazeres, Duarte Miguel França; Chu, Virginia; Conde, João Pedro

    2011-12-07

    Microfluidic technology has the potential to decrease the time of analysis and the quantity of sample and reactants required in immunoassays, together with the potential of achieving high sensitivity, multiplexing, and portability. A lab-on-a-chip system was developed and optimized using optical and fluorescence microscopy. Primary antibodies are adsorbed onto the walls of a PDMS-based microchannel via microspotting. This probe antibody is then recognised using secondary FITC or HRP labelled antibodies responsible for providing fluorescence or chemiluminescent and colorimetric signals, respectively. The system incorporated a micron-sized thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon photodiode microfabricated on a glass substrate. The primary antibody spots in the PDMS-based microfluidic were precisely aligned with the photodiodes for the direct detection of the antibody-antigen molecular recognition reactions using chemiluminescence and colorimetry. The immunoassay takes ~30 min from assay to the integrated detection. The conditions for probe antibody microspotting and for the flow-through ELISA analysis in the microfluidic format with integrated detection were defined using antibody solutions with concentrations in the nM-μM range. Sequential colorimetric or chemiluminescence detection of specific antibody-antigen molecular recognition was quantitatively detected using the photodiode. Primary antibody surface densities down to 0.182 pmol cm(-2) were detected. Multiplex detection using different microspotted primary antibodies was demonstrated.

  7. Controlled aluminum-induced crystallization of an amorphous silicon thin film by using an oxide-layer diffusion barrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Ji-Hyun; Kwak, Hyunmin; Kwon, Myeung Hoi

    2014-03-01

    Aluminum-induced crystallization (AIC) of amorphous silicon with an Al2O3 diffusion barrier was investigated for controlling Si crystallization and preventing layer exchange during the annealing process. An Al2O3 layer was deposited between the a-Si and the Al films (a-Si/Al2O3/Al/Glass) and was blasted with an air spray gun with alumina beads to form diffusion channels between the Si and the Al layers. During the annealing process, small grain Si x Al seeds were formed at the channels. Then, the Al2O3 diffusion barrier was restructured to close the channels and prevent further diffusion of Al atoms into the a-Si layer. A polycrystalline Si film with (111), (220) and (311) crystallization peaks in the X-ray diffraction pattern was formed by annealing at 560 °C in a conventional furnace. That film showed a p-type semiconducting behavior with good crystallinity and a large grain size of up to 14.8 µm. No layer conversion occurred between the Si and the Al layers, which had been the fundamental obstacle to the applications in the crystallization of a-Si films by using the AIC method.

  8. [Full-field digital mammography with amorphous silicon-based flat- panel detector: physical imaging characteristics and signal detection].

    PubMed

    Ideguchi, Tadamitsu; Higashida, Yoshiharu; Himuro, Kazuhiko; Ohki, Masafumi; Nakamura, Satoru; Yoshida, Akira; Takagi, Rie; Hatano, Hirohide; Kuwahara, Rie; Toyonaga, Makiko; Tanaka, Isamu; Toyofuku, Fukai

    2004-03-01

    The physical characteristics of a clinical amorphous silicon-based flat-panel imager for full-field digital mammography were investigated. Pre-sampled modulation transfer functions (MTF) were measured by using a slit method. Noise power spectra were determined for different input exposures by fast Fourier transform. The MTFs of full-field digital mammography systems showed significantly higher values than those of the computed radiography (CR) system. The full-field digital mammography system showed a lower noise level than that of the CR system under the same exposure conditions. Contrast detail analysis has been performed to compare the detectability of the full-field digital mammography system with that of the screen-film (Min-R 2000/Min-R 2000) system. The average contrast-detail curves of digital and film images were obtained from the results of observation. Image quality figures (IQF) were also calculated from the individual observer performance tests. The results indicated that the digital contrast-detail curves and IQF, on average, are superior to those of the screen-film system.

  9. Research on stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon multijunction modules. Annual subcontract report, 1 January 1991--31 December 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, A.; Chen, E.; Clough, R.; Glatfelter, T.; Guha, S.; Hammond, G.; Hopson, M.; Jackett, N.; Lycette, M.; Noch, J.; Palmer, T.; Pawlikiewicz, A.; Rosenstein, I.; Ross, R.; Wolf, D.; Xu, X.; Yang, J.; Younan, K.

    1992-04-01

    This report describes the progress made during Phase 1 of research and development program to obtain high-efficiency amorphous silicon alloy multijunction modules. Using a large-area deposition system, double-and triple-junction cells were made on stainless steel substrates of over 1 ft{sup 2} area with Ag and ZnO predeposited back reflector. Modules of over 1 ft{sup 2} were produced with between 9.2% and 9.9 initial aperture-area efficiencies as measured under a USSC Spire solar simulator. Efficiencies as measured under the NREL Spire solar simulator were found to be typically 15% to 18% lower. The causes for this discrepancy are now being investigated. The modules show about 15% degradation after 600 hours of one-sun illumination at 50{degrees}C. To optimize devices for higher stabilized efficiency, a new method was developed by which the performance of single-junction cells after long-term, one-sun exposure at 50{degrees}C can be predicted by exposing cells to short-term intense light at different temperatures. This method is being used to optimize the component cells of the multijunction structure to obtain the highest light-degraded efficiency.

  10. Selective wet etch of a TaN metal gate with an amorphous-silicon hard mask

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yongliang, Li; Qiuxia, Xu

    2010-11-01

    The appropriate wet etch process for the selective removal of TaN on the HfSiON dielectric with an amorphous-silicon (a-Si) hardmask is presented. SC1 (NH4OH: H2O2: H2O), which can achieve reasonable etch rates for metal gates and very high selectivity to high-k dielectrics and hardmask materials, is chosen as the TaN etchant. Compared with the photoresist mask and the tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) hardmask, the a-Si hardmask is a better choice to achieve selective removal of TaN on the HfSiON dielectric because it is impervious to the SC1 etchant and can be readily etched with NH4OH solution without attacking the TaN and the HfSiON film. In addition, the surface of the HfSiON dielectric is smooth after the wet etching of the TaN metal gate and a-Si hardmask removal, which could prevent device performance degradation. Therefore, the wet etching of TaN with the a-Si hardmask can be applied to dual metal gate integration for the selective removal of the first TaN metal gate deposition.

  11. Scattering effect of the high-index dielectric nanospheres for high performance hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhenhai; Gao, Pingqi; Zhang, Cheng; Li, Xiaofeng; Ye, Jichun

    2016-07-01

    Dielectric nanosphere arrays are considered as promising light-trapping designs with the capability of transforming the freely propagated sunlight into guided modes. This kinds of designs are especially beneficial to the ultrathin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells due to the advantages of using lossless material and easily scalable assembly. In this paper, we demonstrate numerically that the front-sided integration of high-index subwavelength titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanosphere arrays can significantly enhance the light absorption in 100 nm-thick a-Si:H thin films and thus the power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of related solar cells. The main reason behind is firmly attributed to the strong scattering effect excited by TiO2 nanospheres in the whole waveband, which contributes to coupling the light into a-Si:H layer via two typical ways: 1) in the short-waveband, the forward scattering of TiO2 nanospheres excite the Mie resonance, which focuses the light into the surface of the a-Si:H layer and thus provides a leaky channel; 2) in the long-waveband, the transverse waveguided modes caused by powerful scattering effectively couple the light into almost the whole active layer. Moreover, the finite-element simulations demonstrate that photocurrent density (Jph) can be up to 15.01 mA/cm2, which is 48.76% higher than that of flat system.

  12. Scattering effect of the high-index dielectric nanospheres for high performance hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhenhai; Gao, Pingqi; Zhang, Cheng; Li, Xiaofeng; Ye, Jichun

    2016-01-01

    Dielectric nanosphere arrays are considered as promising light-trapping designs with the capability of transforming the freely propagated sunlight into guided modes. This kinds of designs are especially beneficial to the ultrathin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells due to the advantages of using lossless material and easily scalable assembly. In this paper, we demonstrate numerically that the front-sided integration of high-index subwavelength titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanosphere arrays can significantly enhance the light absorption in 100 nm-thick a-Si:H thin films and thus the power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of related solar cells. The main reason behind is firmly attributed to the strong scattering effect excited by TiO2 nanospheres in the whole waveband, which contributes to coupling the light into a-Si:H layer via two typical ways: 1) in the short-waveband, the forward scattering of TiO2 nanospheres excite the Mie resonance, which focuses the light into the surface of the a-Si:H layer and thus provides a leaky channel; 2) in the long-waveband, the transverse waveguided modes caused by powerful scattering effectively couple the light into almost the whole active layer. Moreover, the finite-element simulations demonstrate that photocurrent density (Jph) can be up to 15.01 mA/cm2, which is 48.76% higher than that of flat system. PMID:27455911

  13. Scattering effect of the high-index dielectric nanospheres for high performance hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhenhai; Gao, Pingqi; Zhang, Cheng; Li, Xiaofeng; Ye, Jichun

    2016-07-26

    Dielectric nanosphere arrays are considered as promising light-trapping designs with the capability of transforming the freely propagated sunlight into guided modes. This kinds of designs are especially beneficial to the ultrathin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells due to the advantages of using lossless material and easily scalable assembly. In this paper, we demonstrate numerically that the front-sided integration of high-index subwavelength titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanosphere arrays can significantly enhance the light absorption in 100 nm-thick a-Si:H thin films and thus the power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of related solar cells. The main reason behind is firmly attributed to the strong scattering effect excited by TiO2 nanospheres in the whole waveband, which contributes to coupling the light into a-Si:H layer via two typical ways: 1) in the short-waveband, the forward scattering of TiO2 nanospheres excite the Mie resonance, which focuses the light into the surface of the a-Si:H layer and thus provides a leaky channel; 2) in the long-waveband, the transverse waveguided modes caused by powerful scattering effectively couple the light into almost the whole active layer. Moreover, the finite-element simulations demonstrate that photocurrent density (Jph) can be up to 15.01 mA/cm(2), which is 48.76% higher than that of flat system.

  14. Detection of charged particles and X-rays by scintillator layers coupled to amorphous silicon photodiode arrays

    SciTech Connect

    Jing, T.; Drewery, J.; Hong, W.S.; Lee, H.; Kaplan, S.N.; Perez-Mendez, V.; Goodman, C.A.; Wildermuth, D.

    1995-04-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) p-i-n diodes with transparent metallic contacts are shown to be suitable for detecting charged particles, electrons, and X-rays. When coupled to a suitable scintillator using CsI(Tl) as the scintillator we show a capability to detect minimum ionizing particles with S/N {approximately}20. We demonstrate such an arrangement by operating a p-i-n diode in photovoltaic mode (reverse bias). Moreover, we show that a p-i-n diode can also work as a photoconductor under forward bias and produces a gain yield of 3-8 higher light sensitivity for shaping times of 1 {mu}s. n-i-n devices have similar optical gain as the p-i-n photoconductor for short integrating times ( < 10{mu}s). However, n-i-n devices exhibit much higher gain for a long term integration (10ms) than the p-i-n ones. High sensitivity photosensors are very desirable for X-ray medical imaging because radiation exposure dose can be reduced significantly. The scintillator CsI layers we made have higher spatial resolution than the Kodak commercial scintillator screens due to their internal columnar structure which can collimate the scintillation light. Evaporated CsI layers are shown to be more resistant to radiation damage than the crystalline bulk CsI(Tl).

  15. Continuous roll-to-roll amorphous silicon photovoltaic manufacturing technology. Semiannual subcontract report, 1 April 1993--30 September 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Izu, M

    1994-06-01

    This report describes work for this reporting period under a 3-year program to advance Energy Conversion Device`s (ECD) roll-to-roll, triple-junction photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing technologies, to reduce the module production costs, to increase the stabilized module performance, and to expand commercial production capacity utilizing ECD technology. The specific 3-year goal is to develop advanced large-scale manufacturing technology incorporating ECD`s earlier research advances with the capability of producing modules with stable 11% efficiency at a cost of approximately $1.00 per peak watt. Major accomplishments during this reporting period include (1) the design, construction. amd testomg of a continuous roll-to-roll multipurpose amorphous silicon alloy solar cell deposition machine that incorporates improvements necessary to obtain higher efficiency solar cells; (2) development of a photothermal deflection spectroscopy (PDS) technique for evaluating back-reflector systems; (3) the development of an improved textured Ag/ZnO back-reflector system demonstrating 25% gain in J{sub sc} over previous textured Al back-reflector systems; and (4) the design of a serpentine web continuous roll-to-roll deposition chamber.

  16. Improving battery safety by reducing the formation of Li dendrites with the use of amorphous silicon polymer anodes.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Hitoshi; Nakano, Hideyuki; Ogawa, Masahiro; Nakamoto, Masaaki; Ohta, Toshiaki; Sekiguchi, Akira

    2015-08-07

    To provide safe lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) at low cost, battery materials which lead to reduced Li dendrite formation are needed. The currently used anode materials have low redox voltages that are very close to the redox potential for the formation of Li metal, which leads to severe short circuiting. Herein, we report that when the three-dimensional amorphous silicon polymers poly(methylsilyne) and poly(phenylsilyne) are used as anode materials, dendritic Li formation on the anode surface is avoided up to a practical current density of 10 mA·g(-1) at 5 °C. Equally as significant, poly(methylsilyne) and poly(phenylsilyne) are capable of reacting with 0.45 and 0.9 Li atoms per formula unit, respectively, at an average voltage of approximately 1.0 V, affording reversible capacities of 244 mAh·g(-1) and 180 mAh·g(-1). Moreover, noteworthy is the fact that polysilynes are suitable for practical applications because they can be prepared through a simple and low-cost process and are easy to handle.

  17. Dual-Layer Nanostructured Flexible Thin-Film Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells with Enhanced Light Harvesting and Photoelectric Conversion Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yinyue; Xu, Zhen; Yu, Dongliang; Lu, Linfeng; Yin, Min; Tavakoli, Mohammad Mahdi; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Hao, Yuying; Fan, Zhiyong; Cui, Yanxia; Li, Dongdong

    2016-05-04

    Three-dimensional (3-D) structures have triggered tremendous interest for thin-film solar cells since they can dramatically reduce the material usage and incident light reflection. However, the high aspect ratio feature of some 3-D structures leads to deterioration of internal electric field and carrier collection capability, which reduces device power conversion efficiency (PCE). Here, we report high performance flexible thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells with a unique and effective light trapping scheme. In this device structure, a polymer nanopillar membrane is attached on top of a device, which benefits broadband and omnidirectional performances, and a 3-D nanostructure with shallow dent arrays underneath serves as a back reflector on flexible titanium (Ti) foil resulting in an increased optical path length by exciting hybrid optical modes. The efficient light management results in 42.7% and 41.7% remarkable improvements of short-circuit current density and overall efficiency, respectively. Meanwhile, an excellent flexibility has been achieved as PCE remains 97.6% of the initial efficiency even after 10 000 bending cycles. This unique device structure can also be duplicated for other flexible photovoltaic devices based on different active materials such as CdTe, Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS), organohalide lead perovskites, and so forth.

  18. STEM-EELS analysis reveals stable high-density He in nanopores of amorphous silicon coatings deposited by magnetron sputtering.

    PubMed

    Schierholz, Roland; Lacroix, Bertrand; Godinho, Vanda; Caballero-Hernández, Jaime; Duchamp, Martial; Fernández, Asunción

    2015-02-20

    A broad interest has been showed recently on the study of nanostructuring of thin films and surfaces obtained by low-energy He plasma treatments and He incorporation via magnetron sputtering. In this paper spatially resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy in a scanning transmission electron microscope is used to locate and characterize the He state in nanoporous amorphous silicon coatings deposited by magnetron sputtering. A dedicated MATLAB program was developed to quantify the helium density inside individual pores based on the energy position shift or peak intensity of the He K-edge. A good agreement was observed between the high density (∼35-60 at nm(-3)) and pressure (0.3-1.0 GPa) values obtained in nanoscale analysis and the values derived from macroscopic measurements (the composition obtained by proton backscattering spectroscopy coupled to the macroscopic porosity estimated from ellipsometry). This work provides new insights into these novel porous coatings, providing evidence of high-density He located inside the pores and validating the methodology applied here to characterize the formation of pores filled with the helium process gas during deposition. A similar stabilization of condensed He bubbles has been previously demonstrated by high-energy He ion implantation in metals and is newly demonstrated here using a widely employed methodology, magnetron sputtering, for achieving coatings with a high density of homogeneously distributed pores and He storage capacities as high as 21 at%.

  19. Application of metal nanowire networks on hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Shouyi; Hou, Guofu; Chen, Peizhuan; Jia, Baohua; Gu, Min

    2017-02-01

    We demonstrate the application of metal nanowire (NW) networks as a transparent electrode on hydrogenated amorphous Si (a-Si:H) solar cells. We first systematically investigate the optical performances of the metal NW networks on a-Si:H solar cells in different electrode configurations through numerical simulations to fully understand the mechanisms to guide the experiments. The theoretically optimized configuration is discovered to be metal NWs sandwiched between a 40 nm indium tin oxide (ITO) layer and a 20 nm ITO layer. The overall performances of the solar cells integrated with the metal NW networks are experimentally studied. It has been found the experimentally best performing NW integrated solar cell deviates from the theoretically predicated design due to the performance degradation induced by the fabrication complicity. A 6.7% efficiency enhancement was achieved for the solar cell with metal NW network integrated on top of a 60 nm thick ITO layer compared to the cell with only the ITO layer due to enhanced electrical conductivity by the metal NW network.

  20. Application of metal nanowire networks on hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin film solar cells.

    PubMed

    Xie, Shouyi; Hou, Guofu; Chen, Peizhuan; Jia, Baohua; Gu, Min

    2017-02-24

    We demonstrate the application of metal nanowire (NW) networks as a transparent electrode on hydrogenated amorphous Si (a-Si:H) solar cells. We first systematically investigate the optical performances of the metal NW networks on a-Si:H solar cells in different electrode configurations through numerical simulations to fully understand the mechanisms to guide the experiments. The theoretically optimized configuration is discovered to be metal NWs sandwiched between a 40 nm indium tin oxide (ITO) layer and a 20 nm ITO layer. The overall performances of the solar cells integrated with the metal NW networks are experimentally studied. It has been found the experimentally best performing NW integrated solar cell deviates from the theoretically predicated design due to the performance degradation induced by the fabrication complicity. A 6.7% efficiency enhancement was achieved for the solar cell with metal NW network integrated on top of a 60 nm thick ITO layer compared to the cell with only the ITO layer due to enhanced electrical conductivity by the metal NW network.

  1. Interface-state-controlled segregation of gold during ion-beam-induced epitaxy of amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Custer, J.S.; Thompson, M.O. ); Jacobson, D.C.; Poate, J.M. )

    1991-10-15

    Segregation coefficients and velocity enhancements for Au in amorphous Si during ion-beam-induced epitaxial crystallization were measured. At 320 {degree}C, velocity enhancements of up to 2.5 times were observed, and interface breakdown occurred at interfacial Au concentrations of 11 at. %. Although qualitatively similar to thermal solid-phase epitaxy, these velocity enhancements are substantially reduced in magnitude while the interface breakdown occurs at much higher concentrations. Between 250 {degree}C and 400 {degree}C, Au is trapped at the moving interface with segregation coefficients {ital k}, which are approximately velocity and concentration independent and vary between 0.001 and 0.012. In contrast with classical segregation, however, {ital k} increases linearly with interface position during the initial stages of growth to a temperature-dependent steady-state value. At 250 {degree}C, for example, {ital k} increases by at least a factor of 4 to 0.012 during growth. These results suggest an evolving interface structure from the initial thermal configuration to an irradiation-induced steady-state configuration with a higher trapping efficiency.

  2. Large Area Deposition Of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon By CW CO2 Lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilenchi, R.; Musci, M.; Murri, R.

    1984-06-01

    In order to enhance the deposited area and to improve the uniformity of hydrogenated amor phous silicon (a-Si:H) films, obtained from photodissociation of silane molecules by CO2 laser radiation, two new different experimental approaches are investigated. One of these utilizes a high power (≍ 1 KW) CW CO2 laser with uniform intensity distribution in a rectangular beam cross section; the other consists in a continuous scanning, along a horizontal plane parallel to the substrate, of a low power (≍ 100 W) gaussian laser beam. Preliminary results about p and n doping of the photodeposited material by boron and pho-sphorous ion implantation proved its high doping efficiency and its structural similarity to the chemical vapor deposition produced material.

  3. Characterization and simulation on antireflective coating of amorphous silicon oxide thin films with gradient refractive index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Lu; Jin, Qi; Qu, Xingling; Jin, Jing; Jiang, Chaochao; Yang, Weiguang; Wang, Linjun; Shi, Weimin

    2016-08-01

    The optical reflective properties of silicon oxide (SixOy) thin films with gradient refractive index are studied both theoretically and experimentally. The thin films are widely used in photovoltaic as antireflective coatings (ARCs). An effective finite difference time domain (FDTD) model is built to find the optimized reflection spectra corresponding to structure of SixOy ARCs with gradient refractive index. Based on the simulation analysis, it shows the variation of reflection spectra with gradient refractive index distribution. The gradient refractive index of SixOy ARCs can be obtained in adjustment of SiH4 to N2O ratio by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) system. The optimized reflection spectra measured by UV-visible spectroscopy confirms to agree well with that simulated by FDTD method.

  4. Enhanced light absorption of amorphous silicon thin film by substrate control and ion irradiation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Large-area periodically aligned silicon nanopillar (PASiNP) arrays were fabricated by magnetic sputtering with glancing angle deposition (GLAD) on substrates coated by a monolayer of close-packed polystyrene (PS) nanospheres. The structure of PASiNP arrays could be manipulated by changing the diameter of PS nanospheres. Enhanced light absorptance within a wavelength range from 300 to 1,000 nm was observed as the diameter of nanopillars and porosity of PASiNP arrays increased. Meanwhile, Xe ion irradiation with dose from 1 × 1014 to 50 × 1014 ions/cm2 was employed to modify the surface morphology and top structure of thin films, and the effect of the irradiation on the optical bandgap was discussed. PACS code 81.15.Cd; 78.66.Jg; 61.80.Jh PMID:24717078

  5. Thick amorphous silicon layers suitable for the realization of radiation detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, Wan-Shick; Drewery, J.S.; Jing, Tao; Lee, Hyong-Koo; Perez-Mendez, V.; Petrova-Koch, V.

    1995-04-01

    Thick silicon films with good electronic quality have been prepared by glow discharge of He-diluted SiH{sub 4} at a substrate temperature {approximately} 150{degree}C and subsequent annealing at 160{degree}C for about 100 hours. The stress in the films obtained this way decreased to {approximately} 100 MPa compared to the 350 MPa in conventional a-Si:H. The post-annealing helped to reduce the ionized dangling bond density from 2.5 {times} 10{sup 15} cm{sup {minus}3} to 7 {times} 10{sup 14} cm{sup {minus}3} without changing the internal stress. IR spectroscopy and hydrogen effusion measurements implied the existence of microvoids and tiny crystallites in the material showing satisfactory electronic properties. P-I-N diodes for radiation detection applications have been realized out of the new material.

  6. Optimization of transparent and reflecting electrodes for amorphous silicon solar cells. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, R.G.; Kramer, K.; Liang, H.; Liu, X.; Pang, D.; Teff, D.

    1998-09-01

    Transparent conducting fluorine doped zinc oxide was deposited as thin films on soda lime glass substrates by atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (CVD) at substrate temperatures of 460 to 500 degrees C. The precursors diethylzinc, tetramethylethylenediamine and benzoyl fluoride were dissolved in xylene. This solution was nebulized ultrasonically and then flash vaporized by a carrier gas of nitrogen preheated to 150 degrees C. Ethanol was vaporized separately, and these vapors were then mixed to form a homogeneous vapor mixture. Good reproducibility was achieved using this new CVD method. Uniform thicknesses were obtained by moving the heated glass substrates through the deposition zone. The best electrically and optical properties were obtained when the precursor solution was aged for more than a week before use. The films were polycrystalline and highly oriented with the c-axis perpendicular to the substrate. More than 90% of the incorporated fluorine atoms were electrically active as n-type dopants. The electrical resistivity of the films was as low as 5 x 10/sup -4/ Omega cm. The mobility was about 45 cm ²/Vs. The electron concentration was up to 3 x 10 %sup20;/cm³. The optical absorption of the films was about 3-4% at a sheet resistance of 7 ohms/square. The diffuse transmittance was about 10% at a wavelength of 650 nm. Amorphous ilicon solar cells were deposited using the textured fluorine doped zinc oxide films as a front electrode. The short circuit current was increased over similar cells made with fluorine doped tin oxide, but the open circuit voltages and fill factors were reduced. The voltage was restored by overcoating the fluorine-doped zinc oxide with a thin layer of fluorine-doped tin oxide.

  7. Research on stable, high-efficiency, large-area amorphous silicon based modules -- Task B

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, K.W.; Willet, D.R. )

    1990-10-01

    This report documents progress in developing a stable, high- efficiency, four-terminal hybrid tandem module. The module consists of a semi-transparent, thin-film silicon:hydrogen alloy (TFS) top circuit and a copper indium diselenide (CuInSe{sub 2}) bottom circuit. Film deposition and patterning processes were successfully extended to 0.4-m{sup 2} substrates. A 33.2-W (8.4% efficient) module with a 3970-cm{sup 2} aperture area and a white back reflector was demonstrated; without the back reflector, the module produced 30.2 W (7.6% efficient). Placing a laminated, 31.6-W, 8.1%-efficient CuInSe{sub 2} module underneath this TFS module, with an air gap between the two, produces 11.2 W (2.9% efficient) over a 3883-cm{sup 2} aperture area. Therefore, the four-terminal tandem power output is 41.4 W, translating to a 10.5% aperture-area efficiency. Subsequently, a 37.8-W (9.7% aperture-area efficiency) CuInSe{sub 2} module was demonstrated with a 3905-cm{sup 2} aperture area. Future performances of single-junction and tandem modules of this size were modeled, and predicted power outputs exceed 50 W (13% efficient) for CuInSe{sub 2} and 65 W (17% efficient) for TFS/CuInSe{sub 2} tandem modules.

  8. Energy loss process analysis for radiation degradation and immediate recovery of amorphous silicon alloy solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Shin-ichiro; Beernink, Kevin; Ohshima, Takeshi

    2015-06-01

    Performance degradation of a-Si/a-SiGe/a-SiGe triple-junction solar cells due to irradiation of silicon ions, electrons, and protons are investigated using an in-situ current-voltage measurement system. The performance recovery immediately after irradiation is also investigated. Significant recovery is always observed independent of radiation species and temperature. It is shown that the characteristic time, which is obtained by analyzing the short-circuit current annealing behavior, is an important parameter for practical applications in space. In addition, the radiation degradation mechanism is discussed by analyzing the energy loss process of incident particles (ionizing energy loss: IEL, and non-ionizing energy loss: NIEL) and their relative damage factors. It is determined that ionizing dose is the primarily parameter for electron degradation whereas displacement damage dose is the primarily parameter for proton degradation. This is because the ratio of NIEL to IEL in the case of electrons is small enough to be ignored the damage due to NIEL although the defect creation ratio of NIEL is much larger than that of IEL in the cases of both protons and electrons. The impact of “radiation quality effect” has to be considered to understand the degradation due to Si ion irradiation.

  9. High Growth Rate Deposition of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon-Germanium Films and Devices Using ECR-PECVD

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yong

    2002-01-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon germanium films (a-SiGe:H) and devices have been extensively studied because of the tunable band gap for matching the solar spectrum and mature the fabrication techniques. a-SiGe:H thin film solar cells have great potential for commercial manufacture because of very low cost and adaptability to large-scale manufacturing. Although it has been demonstrated that a-SiGe:H thin films and devices with good quality can be produced successfully, some issues regarding growth chemistry have remained yet unexplored, such as the hydrogen and inert-gas dilution, bombardment effect, and chemical annealing, to name a few. The alloying of the SiGe introduces above an order-of-magnitude higher defect density, which degrades the performance of the a-SiGe:H thin film solar cells. This degradation becomes worse when high growth-rate deposition is required. Preferential attachment of hydrogen to silicon, clustering of Ge and Si, and columnar structure and buried dihydride radicals make the film intolerably bad. The work presented here uses the Electron-Cyclotron-Resonance Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (ECR-PECVD) technique to fabricate a-SiGe:H films and devices with high growth rates. Helium gas, together with a small amount of H2, was used as the plasma species. Thickness, optical band gap, conductivity, Urbach energy, mobility-lifetime product, I-V curve, and quantum efficiency were characterized during the process of pursuing good materials. The microstructure of the a-(Si,Ge):H material was probed by Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy. They found that the advantages of using helium as the main plasma species are: (1) high growth rate--the energetic helium ions break the reactive gas more efficiently than hydrogen ions; (2) homogeneous growth--heavy helium ions impinging on the surface promote the surface mobility of the reactive radicals, so that heteroepitaxy growth as clustering of Ge and Si, columnar structure are

  10. Photovoltaic manufacturing technology monolithic amorphous silicon modules on continuous polymer substrates: Final technical report, July 5, 1995--December 31, 1999

    SciTech Connect

    Jeffrey, F.

    2000-03-28

    Iowa Thin Film Technologies is completing a three-phase program that has increased throughput and decreased costs in nearly all aspects of its thin-film photovoltaic manufacturing process. The overall manufacturing costs have been reduced by 61 percent through implementation of the improvements developed under this program. Development of the ability to use a 1-mil substrate, rather than the standard 2-mil substrate, results in a 50 percent cost-saving for this material. Process development on a single-pass amorphous silicon deposition system has resulted in a 37 percent throughput improvement. A wide range of process and machine improvements have been implemented on the transparent conducting oxide deposition system. These include detailed parameter optimization of deposition temperatures, process gas flows, carrier gas flows, and web speeds. An overall process throughput improvement of 275 percent was achieved based on this work. The new alignment technique was developed for the laser scriber and printer systems, which improved registration accuracy from 100 microns to 10 microns. The new technique also reduced alignment time for these registration systems significantly. This resulted in a throughput increase of 75 percent on the scriber and 600 percent on the printer. Automated techniques were designed and implemented for the module assembly processes. These include automated busbar attachment, roll-based lamination, and automated die cutting of finished modules. These processes were previously done by hand labor. Throughput improvements ranged from 200 percent to 1200 percent, relative to hand labor rates. A wide range of potential encapsulation materials were evaluated for suitability in a roll lamination process and for cost-effectiveness. A combination material was found that has a cost that is only 10 percent of the standard EVA/Tefzel cost and is suitable for medium-lifetime applications. The 20-year lifetime applications still require the more expensive

  11. Atmospheric Pressure Plasma CVD of Amorphous Hydrogenated Silicon Carbonitride (a-SiCN:H) Films Using Triethylsilane and Nitrogen

    SciTech Connect

    Srinivasan Guruvenket; Steven Andrie; Mark Simon; Kyle W. Johnson; Robert A. Sailer

    2011-10-04

    Amorphous hydrogenated silicon carbonitride (a-SiCN:H) thin films are synthesized by atmospheric pressure plasma enhanced chemical vapor (AP-PECVD) deposition using the Surfx Atomflow{trademark} 250D APPJ source with triethylsilane (HSiEt{sub 3}, TES) and nitrogen as the precursor and the reactive gases, respectively. The effect of the substrate temperature (T{sub s}) on the growth characteristics and the properties of a-SiCN:H films was evaluated. The properties of the films were investigated via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) for surface morphological analyses, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for chemical and compositional analyses; spectroscopic ellipsometry for optical properties and thickness determination and nanoindentation to determine the mechanical properties of the a-SiCN:H films. Films deposited at low T{sub s} depict organic like features, while the films deposited at high T{sub s} depict ceramic like features. FTIR and XPS studies reveal that an increases in T{sub s} helps in the elimination of organic moieties and incorporation of nitrogen in the film. Films deposited at T{sub s} of 425 C have an index of refraction (n) of 1.84 and hardness (H) of 14.8 GPa. A decrease in the deposition rate between T{sub s} of 25 and 250 C and increase in deposition rate between T{sub s} of 250 and 425 C indicate that the growth of a-SiCN:H films at lower T{sub s} are surface reaction controlled, while at high temperatures film growth is mass-transport controlled. Based on the experimental results, a potential route for film growth is proposed.

  12. Atomic-scale characterization of hydrogenated amorphous-silicon films and devices. Annual subcontract report, 15 April 1994--14 March 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Gallagher, A.; Barzen, S.; Childs, M.; Laracuente, A.

    1998-06-01

    The research is concerned with improving the electronic properties of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films and of photovoltaic (PV) cells that use these films. Two approaches toward this goal are being taken. One is to establish the character of silicon particle growth in the rf glow discharges that are used to make the films and PV cells, and to understand the particle incorporation into the films. The ultimate goal of this effort is to find mitigation techniques that minimize the particle incorporation. During this contract period the authors have developed a novel particle light-scattering technique that provides a detailed and sensitive diagnostic of small (8-60 nm diameter) particles suspended in the discharge. The authors have used this to measure the particle growth rates and densities, versus conditions in pure-silane discharges. The second program is directed toward measuring the electronic properties of thin-film PV cells, as a function of depth within the cell. The approach being taken is to use a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to measure the depth-dependent electronic properties of cross-sectioned PV cells. During the present period, measurements on single and tandem amorphous silicon cells have been carried out. Using STM current-voltage spectroscopy, these measurements distinguish the boundaries between the highly-conducting and intrinsic layers, as well as the chemical potential versus depth in the cell.

  13. Comparative Study of Solid-Phase Crystallization of Amorphous Silicon Deposited by Hot-Wire CVD, Plasma-Enhanced CVD, and Electron-Beam Evaporation

    SciTech Connect

    Stradins, P.; Kunz, O.; Young, D. L.; Yan, Y.; Jones, K. M.; Xu, Y.; Reedy, R. C.; Branz, H. M.; Aberle, A. G.; Wang, Q.

    2007-01-01

    Solid-phase crystallization (SPC) rates are compared in amorphous silicon films prepared by three different methods: hot-wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD), plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), and electron-beam physical vapor deposition (e-beam). Random SPC proceeds approximately 5 and 13 times slower in PECVD and e-beam films, respectively, as compared to HWCVD films. Doping accelerates random SPC in e-beam films but has little effect on the SPC rate of HWCVD films. In contrast, the crystalline growth front in solid-phase epitaxy experiments propagates at similar speed in HWCVD, PECVD, and e-beam amorphous Si films. This strongly suggests that the observed large differences in random SPC rates originate from different nucleation rates in these materials while the grain growth rates are relatively similar. The larger grain sizes observed for films that exhibit slower random SPC support this suggestion.

  14. Photocharge transport and recombination measurements in amorphous silicon films and solar cells by photoconductive frequency mixing: Annual subcontract report, 20 April 1998--19 April 1999

    SciTech Connect

    Braunstein, R.; Kattwinkel, A.; Liebe, J.; Sun, G.

    2000-02-28

    In the present phase of the program, the transport parameters of a number of amorphous semiconductors prepared by a number of techniques were determined by the photoconductive frequency mixing technique. This technique enabled the authors to determine the drift mobility, md, and the photomixing lifetime, t. The technique is based on the idea of heterodyne detection for photoconductors. When two similarly polarized monochromatic optical beams of slightly different frequencies are incident upon a photoconductor, the generation rate of electron-hole pairs will produce a photocurrent, when a dc-bias is applied, which will contain components resulting from the square of the sum of the individual incident fields. Consequently, a photocurrent will be produced, which will consist of a direct current and a microwave current corresponding to the beat frequency. These two currents allow a separate determination of the drift mobility and the photomixing lifetime of the photogenerated carriers. In the present work, the longitudinal modes of a He-Ne laser were employed to generate a beat frequency of 252 MHz; all the measurements were performed at this frequency for the data indicated in the accompanying figures. The following topics were explored: Measurements of the charge transport parameters of homogeneous a-SiGe:H alloys produced by NREL employing the hot-wire technique; The change in the charge transport parameters in the transition from hydrogenated amorphous silicon to microcrystalline silicon for material produced by NREL and MVSystems; The improvement in instrumentation of the photomixing measurements; Measurements of the hydrostatic dependency of the transport parameters of amorphous silicon; and Preliminary photomixing measurements on p-i-n devices.

  15. Tunable work function of a WO{sub x} buffer layer for enhanced photocarrier collection of pin-type amorphous silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Fang Liang; Baik, Seung Jae; Kang, Sang Jung; Seo, Jung Won; Jeon, Jin-Wan; Lim, Koeng Su; Kim, Jeong Won; Kim, Yoon Hak

    2011-05-15

    An in situ postdeposition ultraviolet treatment was proposed to improve the electrical properties of a tungsten oxide (WO{sub x}) buffer layer of pin-type amorphous silicon-based solar cell. Based on the x-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy and the activation energy measurements, it was found that the work function of WO{sub x} is tunable by ultraviolet light treatment, and the collection performance of solar cells incorporating WO{sub x} with the lower work function is further improved. Moreover, the optimal band alignment scheme for a window layer is discussed in terms of obtaining enhanced carrier collection without open circuit voltage degradation.

  16. In situ spectroscopic study of the plastic deformation of amorphous silicon under nonhydrostatic conditions induced by indentation

    SciTech Connect

    Gerbig, Yvonne B.; Michaels, C. A.; Bradby, Jodie E.; Haberl, Bianca; Cook, Robert F.

    2015-12-17

    Indentation-induced plastic deformation of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin films was studied by in situ Raman imaging of the deformed contact region of an indented sample, employing a Raman spectroscopy-enhanced instrumented indentation technique (IIT). The occurrence and evolving spatial distribution of changes in the a-Si structure caused by processes, such as polyamorphization and crystallization, induced by indentation loading were observed. Furthermore, the obtained experimental results are linked with previously published work on the plastic deformation of a-Si under hydrostatic compression and shear deformation to establish a model for the deformation behavior of a-Si under indentation loading.

  17. A technique for local area transfer and simultaneous crystallization of amorphous silicon layer with midair cavity by irradiation with near-infrared semiconductor diode laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakaike, Kohei; Kobayashi, Yoshitaka; Nakamura, Shogo; Akazawa, Muneki; Higashi, Seiichiro

    2014-04-01

    A technique for local layer transfer and simultaneous crystallization of amorphous silicon (a-Si) films with midair cavity induced by near-infrared semiconductor diode laser (SDL) irradiation is demonstrated. After SDL irradiation, the silicon (Si) films were completely transferred and crystallized simultaneously on counter substrates. Electron backscatter diffraction pattern maps confirmed that the maximum grain size of the transferred Si films is 20 µm. High-performance polycrystalline Si thin-film transistors (TFTs) were successfully fabricated on the locally transferred Si films. These TFTs showed a high on/off ratio of more than 106 and a field-effect mobility as high as 492 cm2 V-1 s-1.

  18. Three dimensional optical modeling of amorphous silicon thin film solar cells using the finite-difference time-domain method including real randomly surface topographies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacombe, Jürgen; Sergeev, Oleg; Chakanga, Kambulakwao; von Maydell, Karsten; Agert, Carsten

    2011-07-01

    In this paper, modeling of light propagation in silicon thin film solar cells without using any fitting parameter is presented. The aim is to create a realistic view of the light trapping effects and of the resulting optical generation rate in the absorbing semiconductor layers. The focus is on real three dimensional systems. Our software Sentaurus tcad, developed by Synopsys, has the ability to import real topography measurements and to model the light propagation using the finite-difference time-domain method. To verify the simulation, we compared the measured and simulated angular distribution functions of a glass/SnO2:F transparent conducting oxide system for different wavelengths. The optical generation rate of charge carriers in amorphous silicon thin film solar cells including rough interfaces is calculated. The distribution of the optical generation rate is correlated with the shape of the interface, and the external quantum efficiencies are calculated and compared to experimental data.

  19. Amorphous and microcrystalline silicon films deposited by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition at filament temperatures between 1500 and 1900 °C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brogueira, P.; Conde, J. P.; Arekat, S.; Chu, V.

    1996-06-01

    The optical, electronic and structural properties of thin films deposited by Hot-wire chemical vapor deposition with filament temperatures, Tfil, between 1500 and 1900 °C from silane and hydrogen are studied. The substrate temperature, Tsub, was kept constant at 220 °C. Amorphous silicon films (a-Si:H) are obtained at high filament temperatures, low deposition pressures and low hydrogen-to-silane flow rate ratio (Tfil˜1900 °C, p<30 mTorr and FH2/FSiH4≤1). At these deposition conditions, high growth rates are observed (rd≥10 Ås-1) both with and without hydrogen dilution, and no silicon deposition was observed on the filaments. However, if a lower filament temperature is used (Tfil˜1500 °C) a transition from a-Si:H to microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) occurs as the pressure is decreased from above 0.3 Torr to below 0.1 Torr. The highest dark conductivity and lowest activation energy, of ˜1 Scm-1 and <0.1 eV, respectively, were observed for μc-Si:H deposited at p˜50 mTorr. In this Tfil regime, μc-Si:H growth is achieved without hydrogen dilution, for substrate temperatures as low as ˜150 °C, and for very thin films (˜0.05 μm). Silicon growth on the filaments is observed. For both Tfil regimes, an amorphous to microcrystalline transition is also observed when the hydrogen dilution is increased (FH2/FSiH4≳4). A kinetic growth model is developed, which suggests that the transition from amorphous to microcrystalline can be explained by considering a balance between the concentration of atomic hydrogen and the concentration of the precursor to silicon deposition (SixHz with z≤3x) near the sample. This concentration ratio is shown to be controlled both by the deposition pressure, p, and the filament temperature, Tfil.

  20. Dosimetric verification of radiation therapy including intensity modulated treatments, using an amorphous-silicon electronic portal imaging device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chytyk-Praznik, Krista Joy

    Radiation therapy is continuously increasing in complexity due to technological innovation in delivery techniques, necessitating thorough dosimetric verification. Comparing accurately predicted portal dose images to measured images obtained during patient treatment can determine if a particular treatment was delivered correctly. The goal of this thesis was to create a method to predict portal dose images that was versatile and accurate enough to use in a clinical setting. All measured images in this work were obtained with an amorphous silicon electronic portal imaging device (a-Si EPID), but the technique is applicable to any planar imager. A detailed, physics-motivated fluence model was developed to characterize fluence exiting the linear accelerator head. The model was further refined using results from Monte Carlo simulations and schematics of the linear accelerator. The fluence incident on the EPID was converted to a portal dose image through a superposition of Monte Carlo-generated, monoenergetic dose kernels specific to the a-Si EPID. Predictions of clinical IMRT fields with no patient present agreed with measured portal dose images within 3% and 3 mm. The dose kernels were applied ignoring the geometrically divergent nature of incident fluence on the EPID. A computational investigation into this parallel dose kernel assumption determined its validity under clinically relevant situations. Introducing a patient or phantom into the beam required the portal image prediction algorithm to account for patient scatter and attenuation. Primary fluence was calculated by attenuating raylines cast through the patient CT dataset, while scatter fluence was determined through the superposition of pre-calculated scatter fluence kernels. Total dose in the EPID was calculated by convolving the total predicted incident fluence with the EPID-specific dose kernels. The algorithm was tested on water slabs with square fields, agreeing with measurement within 3% and 3 mm. The