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Sample records for polymer-derived amorphous silicon

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Tritium in amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Sidhu, L.S.; Kosteski, T.; O`Leary, S.K.; Gaspari, F.; Zukotynski, S.; Kherani, N.P.; Shmadya, W.

    1996-12-31

    Preliminary results on infrared and luminescence measurements of tritium incorporated amorphous silicon are reported. Tritium is an unstable isotope that readily substitutes hydrogen in the amorphous silicon network. Due to its greater mass, bonded tritium is found to introduce new stretching modes in the infrared spectrum. Inelastic collisions between the beta particles, produced as a result of tritium decay, and the amorphous silicon network, results in the generation of excess electron-hole pairs. Radiative recombination of these carriers is observed.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. On the Mass Fractal Character of Si-Based Structural Networks in Amorphous Polymer Derived Ceramics.

    PubMed

    Sen, Sabyasachi; Widgeon, Scarlett

    2015-03-17

    The intermediate-range packing of SiNxC4-x (0 ≤ x ≤ 4) tetrahedra in polysilycarbodiimide and polysilazane-derived amorphous SiCN ceramics is investigated using (29)Si spin-lattice relaxation nuclear magnetic resonance (SLR NMR) spectroscopy. The SiCN network in the polysilylcarbodiimide-derived ceramic consists predominantly of SiN₄ tetrahedra that are characterized by a 3-dimensional spatial distribution signifying compact packing of such units to form amorphous Si₃N₄ clusters. On the other hand, the SiCN network of the polysilazane-derived ceramic is characterized by mixed bonded SiNxC4-x tetrahedra that are inefficiently packed with a mass fractal dimension of Df ~2.5 that is significantly lower than the embedding Euclidean dimension (D = 3). This result unequivocally confirms the hypothesis that the presence of dissimilar atoms, namely, 4-coordinated C and 3-coordinated N, in the nearest neighbor environment of Si along with some exclusion in connectivity between SiCxN4-x tetrahedra with widely different N:C ratios and the absence of bonding between C and N result in steric hindrance to an efficient packing of these structural units. It is noted that similar inefficiencies in packing are observed in polymer-derived amorphous SiOC ceramics as well as in proteins and binary hard sphere systems.

  7. On the Mass Fractal Character of Si-Based Structural Networks in Amorphous Polymer Derived Ceramics

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Sabyasachi; Widgeon, Scarlett

    2015-01-01

    The intermediate-range packing of SiNxC4−x (0 ≤ x ≤ 4) tetrahedra in polysilycarbodiimide and polysilazane-derived amorphous SiCN ceramics is investigated using 29Si spin-lattice relaxation nuclear magnetic resonance (SLR NMR) spectroscopy. The SiCN network in the polysilylcarbodiimide-derived ceramic consists predominantly of SiN4 tetrahedra that are characterized by a 3-dimensional spatial distribution signifying compact packing of such units to form amorphous Si3N4 clusters. On the other hand, the SiCN network of the polysilazane-derived ceramic is characterized by mixed bonded SiNxC4−x tetrahedra that are inefficiently packed with a mass fractal dimension of Df ~2.5 that is significantly lower than the embedding Euclidean dimension (D = 3). This result unequivocally confirms the hypothesis that the presence of dissimilar atoms, namely, 4-coordinated C and 3-coordinated N, in the nearest neighbor environment of Si along with some exclusion in connectivity between SiCxN4−x tetrahedra with widely different N:C ratios and the absence of bonding between C and N result in steric hindrance to an efficient packing of these structural units. It is noted that similar inefficiencies in packing are observed in polymer-derived amorphous SiOC ceramics as well as in proteins and binary hard sphere systems.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Street, R. A.

    1991-08-01

    Divided roughly into two parts, the book describes the physical properties and device applications of hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The first section is concerned with the atomic and electronic structure, and covers growth defects and doping and defect reactions. The emphasis is on the optical and electronic properties that result from the disordered structure. The second part of the book describes electronic conduction, recombination, interfaces, and multilayers. The special attribute of a-Si:H which makes it useful is the ability to deposit the material inexpensively over large areas, while retaining good semiconducting properties, and the final chapter discusses various applications and devices.

  12. 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.

  13. Amorphous silicon ionizing particle detectors

    DOEpatents

    Street, Robert A.; Mendez, Victor P.; Kaplan, Selig N.

    1988-01-01

    Amorphous silicon ionizing particle detectors having a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a--Si:H) thin film deposited via plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition techniques are utilized to detect the presence, position and counting of high energy ionizing particles, such as electrons, x-rays, alpha particles, beta particles and gamma radiation.

  14. Amorphous silicon ionizing particle detectors

    DOEpatents

    Street, R.A.; Mendez, V.P.; Kaplan, S.N.

    1988-11-15

    Amorphous silicon ionizing particle detectors having a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a--Si:H) thin film deposited via plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition techniques are utilized to detect the presence, position and counting of high energy ionizing particles, such as electrons, x-rays, alpha particles, beta particles and gamma radiation. 15 figs.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Optical absorption in amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    O`Leary, S.K.; Zukotynski, S.; Perz, J.M.; Sidhu, L.S.

    1996-12-31

    The role that disorder plays in shaping the form of the optical absorption spectrum of hydrogenated amorphous silicon is investigated. Disorder leads to a redistribution of states, which both reduces the Tauc gap and broadens the absorption tail. The observed relationship between the Tauc gap and the breadth of the absorption tail is thus explained.

  18. High-pressure high-temperature behavior of polymer derived amorphous B-C-N

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhat, S.; Lauterbach, S.; Dzivenko, D.; Kleebe, H.; Riedel, R.; Lathe, C.; Bayarjargal, L.; Winkler, B.; Schwarz, M.; Kroke, E.

    2013-06-01

    Dense diamond-like BCN compounds are of interest due to their extreme hardness and predicted exceptional thermal and chemical stability superior to diamond and c-BN. Here, we report on high-pressure high-temperature (HP-HT) behavior of amorphous BC2N and BC4N - potential precursors for HP-HT synthesis of diamond-like BCN. Prepared via hydroboration reaction of piperazine borane and pyridine borane, respectively, amorphous BC2N and BC4N are characterized by well-mixed B-N, C-C and C-N bonds, confirmed by XPS analysis. These BCN compositions were subjected to pressures between 5-24 GPa and temperatures up to 2000°C using multi anvil press, toroid press and laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LH-DAC). In- and ex-situ X-ray diffraction reveals decomposition of BC4N to graphite and h-BN between 5 to 12 GPa above 700°C, in contrast to BC2N which remains amorphous up to 1600°C. Examination of the recovered LH-DAC samples using HR-TEM, EELS and EDS, indicates a tendency of BC2N to transform into a mixture of c-BN (micron size) and nanocrystalline diamond between 20-24 GPa and 1500-2000°C. Financially supported by the DFG within SPP 1236.

  19. High-pressure high-temperature behavior of polymer derived amorphous B-C-N

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhat, Shrikant; Lauterbach, Stefan; Dzivenko, Dmytro; Lathe, Christian; Bayarjargal, Lkhamsuren; Schwarz, Marcus; Kleebe, Hans-Joachim; Kroke, Edwin; Winkler, Björn; Riedel, Ralf

    2014-05-01

    Abstract: Dense diamond-like BCN compounds are of interest due to their extreme hardness and predicted excellent thermal and chemical stability, which are superior to those of diamond and c-BN. Here, we report on the high-pressure high-temperature (HP-HT) behavior of amorphous BC2N and BC4N -as potential precursors for HP-HT synthesis of diamond-like BCN. Prepared via hydroboration reaction of piperazine borane and pyridine borane, respectively, amorphous BC2N and BC4N are characterized by well-mixed B-N, C-C and C-N bonds, confirmed by XPS analysis. These BCN compositions were subjected to pressures between 5-12 GPa and temperatures up to 1700 °C using multi-anvil apparatus and toroid-type press. In- and ex-situ X-ray diffraction reveals the decomposition of BC4N to graphite and h-BN between 5 and 12 GPa above 500 °C, in contrast to BC2N which remains amorphous up to 1600 °C.

  20. 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.

  1. Electrochemical insertion of lithium into polymer derived silicon oxycarbide and oxycarbonitride ceramics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Dongjoon

    There has recently been great interest in lithium storage at the anode of Li-ion rechargeable battery in order to replace the carbon-based anode. Over the last two decades, carbon-based anode, especially graphite, was utilized as anode in lithium ion batteries because of its cyclic stability and coulombic efficiency. However, low capacity and the thermal runaway resulted from the solid electrolyte interface (SEI) formation on the graphite anode during charging and discharging cycles. This inhibited the further development of lithium ion batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Electrical Vehicle (PHEV) or Electrical Vehicle (EV) which demand both high energy and high power density. The goal of this research was to develop the anode material, Silicon Oxycarbide (SixOyCz) and Silicon Carbonitride (SixCyNz), from Polymer Derived Ceramics (PDCs) for lithium-ion batteries application and to understand the thermodynamics and kinetics of intercalation mechanism in the host material. This includes as three main categories: (1) Characterization of PDCs, (2) measurement of electrochemical phenomena of PDCs anode in half-cell which used lithium foil as anode, (3) analysis of the lithium intercalation mechanism and diffusion coefficient in PDCs. In this thesis, the first objective was to synthesize possible anode materials and construct the proper battery structure to experiment its intercalation and deintercalation behaviors. Also, various experiments such as cyclic stability, capacity retention and C-rate capability were performed in order to estimate the feasibility of PDCs as new anode materials for the next generation. The second objective was to determine the reversible and irreversible capacity from different fraction of Si, C, O and N composition. Based on this analysis, the mixed bond sites in SixOyCz had higher reversible and irreversible capacity than the free carbon sites. The third objective was to examine the hysteretic response of lithium intercalation to SiCO. According to

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Enhancement of oxidation resistance of graphite foams by polymer derived-silicon carbide coating for concentrated solar power applications

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, T.; Singh, D.; Singh, M.

    2015-05-01

    Graphite foam with extremely high thermal conductivity has been investigated to enhance heat transfer of latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) systems. However, the use of graphite foam for elevated temperature applications (>600 °C) is limited due to poor oxidation resistance of graphite. In the present study, oxidation resistance of graphite foam coated with silicon carbide (SiC) was investigated. A pre-ceramic polymer derived coating (PDC) method was used to form a SiC coating on the graphite foams. Post coating deposition, the samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy. The oxidation resistance of PDC-SiC coating was quantified by measuring the weight of the samples at several measuring points. The experiments were conducted under static argon atmosphere in a furnace. After the experiments, oxidation rates (%/hour) were calculated to predict the lifetime of the graphite foams. The experimental results showed that the PDC-SiC coating could prevent the oxidation of graphite foam under static argon atmosphere up to 900 °C.

  15. Enhancement of oxidation resistance of graphite foams by polymer derived-silicon carbide coating for concentrated solar power applications

    DOE PAGES

    Kim, T.; Singh, D.; Singh, M.

    2015-05-01

    Graphite foam with extremely high thermal conductivity has been investigated to enhance heat transfer of latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) systems. However, the use of graphite foam for elevated temperature applications (>600 °C) is limited due to poor oxidation resistance of graphite. In the present study, oxidation resistance of graphite foam coated with silicon carbide (SiC) was investigated. A pre-ceramic polymer derived coating (PDC) method was used to form a SiC coating on the graphite foams. Post coating deposition, the samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy. The oxidation resistance of PDC-SiC coating was quantifiedmore » by measuring the weight of the samples at several measuring points. The experiments were conducted under static argon atmosphere in a furnace. After the experiments, oxidation rates (%/hour) were calculated to predict the lifetime of the graphite foams. The experimental results showed that the PDC-SiC coating could prevent the oxidation of graphite foam under static argon atmosphere up to 900 °C.« less

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Ion bombardment and disorder in amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Sidhu, L.S.; Gaspari, F.; Zukotynski, S.

    1997-07-01

    The effect of ion bombardment during growth on the structural and optical properties of amorphous silicon are presented. Two series of films were deposited under electrically grounded and positively biased substrate conditions. The biased samples displayed lower growth rates and increased hydrogen content relative to grounded counterparts. The film structure was examined using Raman spectroscopy. The transverse optic like phonon band position was used as a parameter to characterize network order. Biased samples displayed an increased order of the amorphous network relative to grounded samples. Furthermore, biased samples exhibited a larger optical gap. These results are correlated and attributed to reduced ion bombardment effects.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of pyrolysis atmospheres on the morphology of polymer-derived silicon oxynitrocarbide ceramic films coated aluminum nitride surface and the thermal conductivity of silicone rubber composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiu, Hsien T.; Sukachonmakul, Tanapon; Wang, Chen H.; Wattanakul, Karnthidaporn; Kuo, Ming T.; Wang, Yu H.

    2014-02-01

    Amorphous silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) and silicon oxynitrocarbide (SiONC) ceramic films coated aluminum nitride (AlN) were prepared by using preceramic-polysilazane (PSZ) with dip-coating method, followed by pyrolysis at 700 °C in different (air, Ar, N2 and NH3) atmospheres to converted PSZ into SiOCair and SiONC(Ar,N2andNH3) ceramic. The existence of amorphous SiOCair and SiONC(Ar,N2andNH3) ceramic films on AlN surface was characterized by FTIR, XRD and XPS. The interfacial adhesion between silicone rubber and AlN was significantly improved after the introduction of amorphous SiOCair and SiONC(Ar,N2andNH3) ceramic films on AlN surface. It can be observed from AFM that the pyrolysis of PSZ at different atmosphere strongly affected to films morphology on AlN surface as SiOCair and SiONCNH3 ceramic films were more flat and smooth than SiONCN2 and SiONCAr ceramic films. Besides, the enhancement of the thermal conductivity of silicone rubber composites was found to be related to the decrease in the surface roughness of SiOCair and SiONC(Ar,N2andNH3) ceramic films on AlN surface. This present work provided an alternative surface modification of thermally conductive fillers to improve the thermal conductivity of silicon rubber composites by coating with amorphous SiOCair and SiONC(Ar,N2andNH3) ceramic films.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Amorphous silicon-based microchannel plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Andrea; Riesen, Yannick; Wyrsch, Nicolas; Dunand, Sylvain; Powolny, François; Jarron, Pierre; Ballif, Christophe

    2012-12-01

    Microchannel plates (MCP) based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) were recently introduced to overcome some of the limitations of crystalline silicon and glass MCP. The typical thickness of a-Si:H based MCPs (AMCP) ranges between 80 and 100 μm and the micromachining of the channels is realized by deep reactive ion etching (DRIE). Advantages and issues regarding the fabrication process are presented and discussed. Electron amplification is demonstrated and analyzed using Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) technique. The gain increases as a function of the bias voltage, limited to -340 V on account of high leakage currents across the structure. EBIC maps on 10° tilted samples confirm that the device active area extend to the entire channel opening. AMCP characterization with the electron beam shows gain saturation and signal quenching which depends on the effectiveness of the charge replenishment in the channel walls.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Method for improving the stability of amorphous silicon

    DOEpatents

    Branz, Howard M.

    2004-03-30

    A method of producing a metastable degradation resistant amorphous hydrogenated silicon film is provided, which comprises the steps of growing a hydrogenated amorphous silicon film, the film having an exposed surface, illuminating the surface using an essentially blue or ultraviolet light to form high densities of a light induced defect near the surface, and etching the surface to remove the defect.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Spectroscopic and calorimetric investigation of short and intermediate-range structures and energetics of amorphous SiCO, SiCN, and SiBCN polymer-derived ceramics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widgeon, Scarlett J.

    Polymer-derived ceramics (PDCs) are a new class of amorphous ceramics in the Si-B-C-N system that are synthesized by the pyrolysis of silicon-based organic polymers. PDCs are lightweight and are resistant to creep, crystallization, and oxidation at temperatures near 1800 K making them ideal for a variety of high temperature applications. In spite of being X-ray amorphous, these materials display structural heterogeneity at the nanometer length scale. Their structure and resulting properties can be drastically altered by the utilization of preceramic polymers with differing chemistry and architectures. Fundamental understanding of the atomic structure is critical in deciphering the structure-property relationships and ultimately in controlling their properties for specific engineering applications. The short-range atomic structure has been extensively investigated using a variety of techniques, however, the structures at length scales beyond next-nearest neighbors remained highly controversial. Here we report the results of a spectroscopic and calorimetric study of short and intermediate -range structure and energetic of SiOC and SiBCN PDCs derived from a wide variety of precursors. SiOC PDCs with different carbon contents were synthesized from polysiloxane precurors and their structures were studied using high-resolution 13C and 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The results suggest that these PDCs consists of a continuous mass fractal backbone of corner-shared SiC xO4-x tetrahedral units with "voids" occupied by sp 2-hybridized graphitic carbon. The oxygen-rich SiCxO 4-x units are located at the interior of this backbone with a mass fractal dimension of ~ 2.5, while the carbon-rich units occupy the two-dimensional interface between the backbone and the free carbon nanodomains. Such fractal topology is expected to give rise to unusual mechanical and transport properties characteristic of fractal percolation networks. For example, elastic moduli and

  4. 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.

  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

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Short range atomic migration in amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Strauß, F. Jerliu, B.; Geue, T.; Stahn, J.; Schmidt, H.

    2016-05-07

    Experiments on self-diffusion in amorphous silicon between 400 and 500 °C are presented, which were carried out by neutron reflectometry in combination with {sup 29}Si/{sup nat}Si isotope multilayers. Short range diffusion is detected on a length scale of about 2 nm, while long range diffusion is absent. Diffusivities are in the order of 10{sup −19}–10{sup −20} m{sup 2}/s and decrease with increasing annealing time, reaching an undetectable low value for long annealing times. This behavior is strongly correlated to structural relaxation and can be explained as a result of point defect annihilation. Diffusivities for short annealing times of 60 s follow the Arrhenius law with an activation enthalpy of (0.74 ± 0.21) eV, which is interpreted as the activation enthalpy of Si migration.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Method of inducing differential etch rates in glow discharge produced amorphous silicon

    DOEpatents

    Staebler, David L.; Zanzucchi, Peter J.

    1980-01-01

    A method of inducing differential etch rates in glow discharge produced amorphous silicon by heating a portion of the glow discharge produced amorphous silicon to a temperature of about 365.degree. C. higher than the deposition temperature prior to etching. The etch rate of the exposed amorphous silicon is less than the unheated amorphous silicon.

  2. 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

  3. Defects in Amorphous Silicon: Dynamics and Role on Crystallization.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Jung Hoon

    Defects play a crucial role in determining the properties of many materials of scientific and technological interest. With ion irradiation, it is possible to controllably inject defects, and thus carefully study the dynamics of defect creation and annihilation, as well as the effects such defect injection has on materials properties and phase transformations. Amorphous silicon is a model system for the study of amorphous solids characterized as continuous random networks. In hydrogenated form, it is an important material for semiconductor devices such as solar cells and thin film transistors. It is the aim of this thesis to elucidate the dynamics of defects in an amorphous silicon matrix, and the role such defects can play on crystallization of amorphous silicon. In the first chapter, the concept of a continuous random network that characterizes amorphous silicon is presented as an introduction to amorphous silicon. Structural relaxation, or annihilation of non-equilibrium defects in an amorphous matrix, is introduced. Also developed are the concept of the activation energy spectrum theory for structural relaxation of amorphous solids and the density of relaxation states. In the second chapter, the density of relaxation states for the structural relaxation of amorphous silicon is measured by measuring changes in electrical conductivity, using ion irradiation and thermal anneal to create and annihilate defects, respectively. A new quantitative model for defect creation and annihilation, termed the generalized activation energy spectrum theory, is developed in Chapter 3, and is found to be superior to previous models in describing defect dynamics in amorphous silicon. In Chapter 4, the effect of irradiation on the crystallization of amorphous silicon is investigated. It is found that irradiation affects crystallization even when the growth kinetics of crystal grains is unaffected, and that defects injected into amorphous matrix by irradiation probably play a role in

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Amorphous Silicon Nanowires Grown on Silicon Oxide Film by Annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Zhishan; Wang, Chengyong; Chen, Ke; Ni, Zhonghua; Chen, Yunfei

    2017-08-01

    In this paper, amorphous silicon nanowires (α-SiNWs) were synthesized on (100) Si substrate with silicon oxide film by Cu catalyst-driven solid-liquid-solid mechanism (SLS) during annealing process (1080 °C for 30 min under Ar/H2 atmosphere). Micro size Cu pattern fabrication decided whether α-SiNWs can grow or not. Meanwhile, those micro size Cu patterns also controlled the position and density of wires. During the annealing process, Cu pattern reacted with SiO2 to form Cu silicide. More important, a diffusion channel was opened for Si atoms to synthesis α-SiNWs. What is more, the size of α-SiNWs was simply controlled by the annealing time. The length of wire was increased with annealing time. However, the diameter showed the opposite tendency. The room temperature resistivity of the nanowire was about 2.1 × 103 Ω·cm (84 nm diameter and 21 μm length). This simple fabrication method makes application of α-SiNWs become possible.

  9. Amorphous Silicon Nanowires Grown on Silicon Oxide Film by Annealing.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Zhishan; Wang, Chengyong; Chen, Ke; Ni, Zhonghua; Chen, Yunfei

    2017-08-10

    In this paper, amorphous silicon nanowires (α-SiNWs) were synthesized on (100) Si substrate with silicon oxide film by Cu catalyst-driven solid-liquid-solid mechanism (SLS) during annealing process (1080 °C for 30 min under Ar/H2 atmosphere). Micro size Cu pattern fabrication decided whether α-SiNWs can grow or not. Meanwhile, those micro size Cu patterns also controlled the position and density of wires. During the annealing process, Cu pattern reacted with SiO2 to form Cu silicide. More important, a diffusion channel was opened for Si atoms to synthesis α-SiNWs. What is more, the size of α-SiNWs was simply controlled by the annealing time. The length of wire was increased with annealing time. However, the diameter showed the opposite tendency. The room temperature resistivity of the nanowire was about 2.1 × 10(3) Ω·cm (84 nm diameter and 21 μm length). This simple fabrication method makes application of α-SiNWs become possible.

  10. 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

  11. Fluorine-enhanced boron diffusion in amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacques, J. M.; Robertson, L. S.; Jones, K. S.; Law, M. E.; Rendon, Mike; Bennett, Joe

    2003-05-01

    Silicon wafers were preamorphized with 70 keV Si+ at a dose of 1×1015atoms/cm2, generating a deep amorphous layer of 1800 Å. Implants of 500 eV 11B+, with and without 6 keV F+, followed at doses of 1×1015 atoms/cm2 and 2×1015 atoms/cm2, respectively. After annealing at 550 °C, secondary ion mass spectroscopy determined that the diffusivity of boron in amorphous silicon is significantly enhanced in the presence of fluorine. Ellipsometry and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy indicate the enhanced diffusion only occurs in the amorphous layer. Fluorine increases the boron diffusivity by approximately five orders of magnitude at 550 °C. It is proposed that the ability of fluorine to reduce the dangling bond concentration in amorphous silicon may reduce the formation energy for mobile boron, enhancing its diffusivity.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Solution-processed amorphous silicon surface passivation layers

    SciTech Connect

    Mews, Mathias Sontheimer, Tobias; Korte, Lars; Rech, Bernd; Mader, Christoph; Traut, Stephan; Wunnicke, Odo

    2014-09-22

    Amorphous silicon thin films, fabricated by thermal conversion of neopentasilane, were used to passivate crystalline silicon surfaces. The conversion is investigated using X-ray and constant-final-state-yield photoelectron spectroscopy, and minority charge carrier lifetime spectroscopy. Liquid processed amorphous silicon exhibits high Urbach energies from 90 to 120 meV and 200 meV lower optical band gaps than material prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Applying a hydrogen plasma treatment, a minority charge carrier lifetime of 1.37 ms at an injection level of 10{sup 15}/cm{sup 3} enabling an implied open circuit voltage of 724 mV was achieved, demonstrating excellent silicon surface passivation.

  18. 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.

  19. Recombination mechanisms in amorphous silicon/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, N.; Rau, U.; Hausner, R. M.; Uppal, S.; Oberbeck, L.; Bergmann, R. B.; Werner, J. H.

    2000-03-01

    This article investigates limitations to the open circuit voltage of n-type amorphous silicon/p-type crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells. The analysis of quantum efficiency and temperature dependent current/voltage characteristics identifies the dominant recombination mechanism. Depending on the electronic quality of the crystalline silicon absorber, either recombination in the neutral bulk or recombination in the space charge region prevails; recombination at the heterointerface is not relevant. Although interface recombination does not limit the open circuit voltage, recombination of photogenerated charge carriers at the heterointerface or in the amorphous silicon emitter diminishes the short circuit current of the solar cells.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chowdhury, Zahidur R.; Kherani, Nazir P.

    2014-12-01

    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 VOC of 666 mV, JSC of 29.5 mA-cm-2, and fill-factor of 69.3%. Reduced parasitic absorption, predominantly in the shorter wavelength range, is confirmed with external quantum efficiency measurement.

  4. 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.

  5. Performance of amorphous silicon photovoltaic systems, 1985--1989

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-04-01

    This report discusses the performance of commercial amorphous silicon modules used in photovoltaic power systems from 1985 through 1989. Topics discussed include initial degradation, reliability, durability, and effects of temperature and solar irradiance on peak power and energy production. 6 refs., 18 figs.

  6. Photo-induced defects and photoconductivity in amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, H.; Kida, H.; Hamakawa, Y.

    1984-02-01

    An essential connection between photo-induced defects and photoconductivity in amorphous silicon is discussed within the framework of Street's defect creation model. The excitation intensity dependence and doping level dependence of the photo-induced defect density and photoconductivity are derived on the basis of simple rate equation analysis, and compared with experimental data.

  7. 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.

  8. Tight binding simulation of the thermodynamic behavior of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosato, V.; Celino, M.

    1999-12-01

    Structures of amorphous silicon have been generated by using a suitable implementation of the reverse Monte Carlo technique, based on the reproduction of different experimental data. The structures have been subsequently relaxed at fixed temperature and pressure via tight binding molecular dynamics. The amorphous structures have been further characterized by evaluating structural, dynamic and electronic structure properties, as a function of temperature, up to and above the melting point. The model of amorphous silicon undergoes a melting transition at Tal≃0.55Tm (where Tm is the homogeneous melting temperature of the bulk crystal). In the temperature range between Tal and Tm, the system exhibits thermodynamic and structural properties typical of an undercooled liquid.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Photoluminescence Study of Metastable Degradation of Amorphous Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conlin, Jeremy; Inglefield, Colin; Plachy, Robin; Su, Tining; Taylor, P. Craig; Ganguly, Gautam; Carlson, Dave

    2001-11-01

    It is well known that the luminescent intensity of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and the efficiency of a-Si:H solar cells degrade after long exposure to light (known as the Staebler-Wronski effect). It is also known that annealing light-soaked amorphous silicon can restore the luminescence intensity to a level similar to that before light soaking. In our study, state-of-the-art device-quality a-Si:H was used to determine, quantitatively, the luminescence intensity before and after light soaking and after subsequent annealing. We found that the luminescence decreases by a roughly factor of ten over the entire measurable spectrum after exposure to a 1-Sun lamp for 600 hours. We also studied silicon that had been light-soaked and annealed (170 degrees Celsius for 4 hours in a nitrogen environment) and found the luminescence returned to its original level. We are also correlating our results with Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) measurements to determine the effects of light-induced degradation on number of defects and the hydrogen local environment, respectively. By combining these three results, we hope to further define the effect of light soaking on the microstructure of amorphous silicon.

  15. Preparation and characterization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donovan, T. M.

    1980-12-01

    Direct current magnetron sputtering was evaluated as a viable approach to producing amorphous SiH thin films for solar photovoltaic applications. It is shown that the optical and transport properties of these films are similar to those of rf diode sputtered material, but the photoresponse and, more importantly, Schottky diode performance are inferior to that already obtained by rd diode sputtering. In order to improve film morphology, ion bombardment was added to the deposition process. Transmission electron microscopy and SIMS measurements are discussed. Optical properties, transport, and photoconductivity of oxygen doped rf diode films are discussed.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bhat, P.K.; Brown, S.; Hollingsworth, R.; Shen, D.S.; del Cueto, J.; Iwanicko, E.; Marshall, C.; DeHart, C.; Mentor, D.; Benson, A.; Matovich, C.; Sandwisch, J. )

    1991-04-01

    This report describes a contract to produce multijunction modules based entirely on amorphous silicon alloys, the modules having an aperture area of at least 900 cm{sup 2} and a stable, reproducible conversion efficiency of at least 6.5% after 600 hours of light exposure (air mass 1.5) at 50{degrees} C. The work focussed on (1) producing opto-electronic-grade amorphous silicon material for band gaps of about 1.7 and 1.9 eV by changing the hydrogen content in the film bonded to the silicon, (2) studying and obtaining data on the light stability of single-junction p-i-n solar cells with gaps of about 1.7 and 1.9 eV, and (3) analyzing losses in a silicon/silicon multijunction cell. We report new results on an indium tin oxide (ITO)/silver back contact and the deposition of granular tin oxide by atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition. Progress toward module fabrication at the end of six months has been good, with the demonstration of 5.4% initial efficiency in a silicon/silicon multijunction submodule with an aperture area of 4620 cm{sup 2} and incorporating devices with 2nd-junction i-layer thicknesses of about 3500 {angstrom}. We also demonstrated a single-junction silicon submodule with an aperture area of 4620 cm{sup 2}, a thickness of about 3500 {angstrom}, and an initial efficiency of 6.5%. 4 refs., 39 figs., 5 tabs.

  18. Mechanism of boron diffusion in amorphous silicon.

    PubMed

    Mirabella, Salvatore; De Salvador, Davide; Bruno, Elena; Napolitani, Enrico; Pecora, Emanuele F; Boninelli, Simona; Priolo, Francesco

    2008-04-18

    We have elucidated the mechanism for B migration in the amorphous (a-) Si network. B diffusivity in a-Si is much higher than in crystalline Si; it is transient and increases with B concentration up to 2 x 10(20) B/cm(3). At higher density, B atoms in a-Si quickly precipitate. B diffusion is indirect, mediated by dangling bonds (DB) present in a-Si. The density of DB is enhanced by B accommodation in the a-Si network and decreases because of a-Si relaxation. Accurate data simulations allow one to extract the DB diffusivity, whose activation energy is 2.6 eV. Implications of these results are discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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%.

  5. Amorphous-silicon thin-film heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Cretella, M. C.; Gregory, J. A.; Sandstrom, D. B.; Paul, W.

    1981-01-01

    The investigation of amorphous silicon materials at MTSEC has had two major thrusts: (1) to improve the amorphous material, i.e., obtain a low state density in the gap, improve the carrier collection depth and diminish non-radiative recombinations; and (2) to attempt to understand and improve on the limitations of the junction devices while evaluating the amorphous silicon materials. In the first of these efforts, the investigation has continued to examine the modifications to the a-Si(H) network by alloying silicon with other group IVA elements, either in binary or ternary compositions, and/or by replacing the hydrogenation for defect compensation with a combination of hydrogenation and alkylation or hydrogenation and halogenation. The doped junction layers are being examined in an attempt to determine the limiting characteristics of the junctions in solar cell devices of these amorphous materials. Amorphous alloys of Si-Ge, Si-C, Si-Sn were prepared as well as ternary compositions of Si-Ge-C and Si-Sn-C. In addition, Na vapor was added to the gas feed to deposit a-Si(Na, H) films, and to prepare Si-Sn, fluoride was added along with the tin by vapor additions of SnF/sub 4/ to the gas feed. The optical properties of these materials were measured, and structural and compositional information was obtained from the IR vibrational spectra using the scanning electron microscope and from analyses using scanning Auger microscopy. Electrical measurements have included the dark conductivity and the photo conductivity under room fluorescent light and at AM1 conditions. With alloys that displayed promising photoconductive properties n-i-p devices were prepared to assess the solar cell properties. Details are presented. (WHK)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. Grain boundary resistance to amorphization of nanocrystalline silicon carbide.

    PubMed

    Chen, Dong; Gao, Fei; Liu, Bo

    2015-11-12

    Under the C displacement condition, we have used molecular dynamics simulation to examine the effects of grain boundaries (GBs) on the amorphization of nanocrystalline silicon carbide (nc-SiC) by point defect accumulation. The results show that the interstitials are preferentially absorbed and accumulated at GBs that provide the sinks for defect annihilation at low doses, but also driving force to initiate amorphization in the nc-SiC at higher doses. The majority of surviving defects are C interstitials, as either C-Si or C-C dumbbells. The concentration of defect clusters increases with increasing dose, and their distributions are mainly observed along the GBs. Especially these small clusters can subsequently coalesce and form amorphous domains at the GBs during the accumulation of carbon defects. A comparison between displacement amorphized nc-SiC and melt-quenched single crystal SiC shows the similar topological features. At a dose of 0.55 displacements per atom (dpa), the pair correlation function lacks long range order, demonstrating that the nc-SiC is fully amorphilized.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Amorphous silicon research project government/industry program

    SciTech Connect

    Luft, W.; Stafford, B.

    1990-09-01

    This summary report covers that the second DOE/SERI three-year amorphous silicon initiative (1987--1989). Increased performance of amorphous silicon cells has resulted as a result of progress in the areas of light (photon) management and device structure. An improved utilization of the solar spectrum has resulted from developing textured transparent conducting oxide contacts and multilayer back reflectors, which have enhanced the light trapping in cells. For example, researchers developed a high-conductivity, textured SnO{sub 2}:F front contact deposited by atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition on glass; the sheet resistance is low (8--10 {Omega}/square) and the optical transmittance is high (over 80% over the wavelength range 450--700 nm). Subsequently, researchers developed a textured ZnO front contact with an optical transmittance over a wider range than that of SnO{sub 2}:F. Reactors also developed highly reflective indium tin oxide (ITO)/aluminum and ZnO/Al or ZnO/Ag multilayer back reflectors that result in enhanced quantum efficiencies for a-SiGe:H(F) of up to 67% at 700 nm. Notable efficiencies were achieved for all-amorphous-silicon alloy, two-terminal, different-band-gap multijunction devices. Efficiencies for two-terminal, same-band-gap, multijunction 0.25-cm{sup 2} cells and 900-cm{sup 2} submodules were also improved, as were the efficiencies for four-terminal, 4-cm{sup 2} cells and 900-cm{sup 2} submodules.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Liquid Crystal Spatial Light Modulator Using Amorphous Silicon Photoconductor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Peng; Qihong, Wu; Jinfa, Tang

    1990-02-01

    The development of a reflection mode nematic field effect a ¬â€? Si:H LCLV is described. The amor-phous silicon photoconductor layer is deposited by glow discharge without doping. The configuration al-so consists of dielectric mirror as CdS LCLVs do. The bias frequency is in the range of 500Hz to 10KHz. MTF, sensitivity and time response of the device are measured. High resolution of > 501p/mm and switching time less than 25ms are achieved. Also reported is an equivalent circuit mode which has been compared with experimental results.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Determination of electric field profiles in amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konenkamp, R.; Muramatsu, S.; Itoh, H.; Matsubara, S.; Shimada, T.

    1990-07-01

    Time-resolved photoconductivity measurements with subnanosecond time resolution are applied to study the electric field profile in amorphous silicon solar cells in the range from 0.3 V forward to 0.8 V reverse bias. The method is used for a comparison of state-of-the-art devices with different junction design. Optical and electrical contributions to the device performance are discussed and the limitations in improving the performance by use of a-SiC:H window layers are pointed out.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Cathodic deposition of amorphous alloys of silicon, carbon, and fluorine

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, C.H.; Kroger, F.A.

    1982-05-01

    Amorphous silicon containing fluorine and carbon, pure and doped with boron or phosphorus, was deposited cathodically from solutions of K/sub 2/SiF/sub 6/ in acetone with HF. The conditions for optimum deposition were determined, and the deposits were characterized by electron microprobe x-ray emission, electrical conductivity, and infrared absorption. Doping with phosphorus causes a change from p- to n-type semiconductor behavior, with a maximum of resistivity >10/sup 13/ /OMEGA/ cm at the compensation point. 48 refs.

  14. Lithium concentration dependent structure and mechanics of amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Sitinamaluwa, H. S.; Wang, M. C.; Will, G.; Senadeera, W.; Yan, C.; Zhang, S.

    2016-06-28

    A better understanding of lithium-silicon alloying mechanisms and associated mechanical behavior is essential for the design of Si-based electrodes for Li-ion batteries. Unfortunately, the relationship between the dynamic mechanical response and microstructure evolution during lithiation and delithiation has not been well understood. We use molecular dynamic simulations to investigate lithiated amorphous silicon with a focus to the evolution of its microstructure, phase composition, and stress generation. The results show that the formation of Li{sub x}Si alloy phase is via different mechanisms, depending on Li concentration. In these alloy phases, the increase in Li concentration results in reduction of modulus of elasticity and fracture strength but increase in ductility in tension. For a Li{sub x}Si system with uniform Li distribution, volume change induced stress is well below the fracture strength in tension.

  15. Amorphous silicon-carbon alloys and amorphous carbon from direct methane and ethylene activation by ECR

    SciTech Connect

    Conde, J.P.; Chu, V.; Giorgis, F.; Pirri, C.F.; Arekat, S.

    1997-07-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous silicon-carbon alloys are prepared using electron-cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Hydrogen is introduced into the source resonance cavity as an excitation gas. Silane is introduced in the main chamber in the vicinity of the plasma stream, whereas the carbon source gases, methane or ethylene, are introduced either with the silane or with the hydrogen as excitation gases. The effect of the type of carbon-source gas, excitation gas mixture and silane-to-carbon source gas flow ratio on the deposition rate, bandgap, subgap density of states, spin density and hydrogen evolution are studied.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Improving the performance of amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, D. E.; Arya, R. R.; Catalano, A.; D'Aiello, R. V.; Dickson, C. R.

    1987-08-01

    High-performance amorphous silicon solar cells require high-quality undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon, a conductive p-layer or n-layer window, an effective light-trapping geometry such as textured tin oxide, a reflective back contact (e.g. silver), and low-contact resistance (less than 0.5 ohm sq cm). Requirements for high module-performance require low interconnect resistance (e.g. less than 0.005 ohm sq cm for the Al-SnO2 contact), large percentage of active area, and good uniformity of material properties over large areas. New developments such as superlattice doped layers and improved tin-oxide texturing have led to efficiencies as high as 10.l9 percent in small cells (1 sq cm). Processing improvements have led to efficiencies of 8.1 percent in small cells (1 sq cm). Processing improvements have led to efficiencies of 8.1 percent in l-sq ft modules patterned entirely by laser scribing.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Amorphous silicon passivation for 23.3% laser processed back contact solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carstens, Kai; Dahlinger, Morris; Hoffmann, Erik; Zapf-Gottwick, Renate; Werner, Jürgen H.

    2017-08-01

    This paper presents amorphous silicon deposited at temperatures below 200 °C, leading to an excellent passivation layer for boron doped emitter and phosphorus doped back surface field areas in interdigitated back contact solar cells. A higher deposition temperature degrades the passivation of the boron emitter by an increased hydrogen effusion due to lower silicon hydrogen bond energy, proved by hydrogen effusion measurements. The high boron surface doping in crystalline silicon causes a band bending in the amorphous silicon. Under these conditions, at the interface, the intentionally undoped amorphous silicon becomes p-type conducting, with the consequence of an increased dangling bond defect density. For bulk amorphous silicon this effect is described by the defect pool model. We demonstrate, that the defect pool model is also applicable to the interface between amorphous and crystalline silicon. Our simulation shows the shift of the Fermi energy towards the valence band edge to be more pronounced for high temperature deposited amorphous silicon having a small bandgap. Application of optimized amorphous silicon as passivation layer for the boron doped emitter and phosphorus doped back surface field on the rear side of laser processed back contact solar cells, fabricated using four laser processing steps, yields an efficiency of 23.3%.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Mechanism of the growth of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon from silicon tetrafluoride and hydrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, Y.; Chen, J.; Campbell, I. H.; Fauchet, P. M.; Wagner, S.

    1990-02-01

    We study the growth of amorphous (a-Si:H,F) and of microcrystalline (μc-Si) silicon over trench patterns in crystalline silicon substrates. We vary the conditions of the SiF4-H2 glow discharge from deposition to etching. All deposited films form lips at the trench mouth and are uniformly thick on the trench walls. Therefore, surface diffusion is not important. The results of a Monte Carlo simulation suggest that film growth is governed by a single growth species with a low (˜0.2) sticking coefficient, in combination with a highly reactive etching species.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Mobility-Lifetime Product in Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Könenkamp, Rolf; Muramatsu, Shin-ichi; Itoh, Haruo; Matsubara, Sunao; Shimada, Toshikazu

    1990-12-01

    We report an analysis of the carrier loss process in time-of-flight experiments on amorphous silicon solar cells. The electron mobility-lifetime (μτ) product is determined by a transitory immobilization of the carriers in deep traps. The carriers can be recovered and collected when the experiment is extended into the ms time range. The collection efficiency is shown to depend on the occupation of gap states. We discuss the discrepancy between μτ values obtained from time-of-flight and photoconductivity measurements and present an analysis which relates the time-of-flight μτ products to the density of shallow and deep states in a-Si:H.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. ESR studies on hot-wire amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Unold, T.; Mahan, A.H.

    1997-07-01

    The authors measure a series of hot-wire (HW) amorphous silicon films grown with hydrogen contents C{sub H} varying between 0.5--17 at.%. From constant photocurrent method (CPM) measurements and the steady-state photocarrier grating method (SSPG) they find good agreement with previous measurements on similar hot-wire films. Electron spin resonance measurements on the same samples, however, yield significantly higher spin densities than expected. A thickness series indicates a highly defective layer close to the substrate interface. They propose that this defective layer may be due to excessive out diffusion of hydrogen during growth at high temperatures, as seen by secondary ion mass spectroscopy. ESR measurements on light-degraded samples indicate an improved stability of samples with C{sub H} < 9 at.%.

  2. 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.

  3. Correlating the properties of amorphous silicon with its flexibility volume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Zhao; Ding, Jun; Li, Qing-Jie; Ma, Evan

    2017-04-01

    For metallic glasses, "flexibility volume" has recently been introduced as a property-revealing indicator of the structural state the glass is in. This parameter incorporates the atomic volume and the vibrational mean-square displacement, to combine both static structure and dynamics information. Flexibility volume was shown to quantitatively correlate with the properties of metallic glasses [J. Ding et al., Nat. Commun. 7, 13733 (2016), 10.1038/ncomms13733]. However, it remains to be examined if this parameter is useful for other types of glasses with bonding characteristics, atomic packing structures, as well as properties that are distinctly different from metallic glasses. In this paper, we tackle this issue through systematic molecular-dynamics simulations of amorphous silicon (a -Si) models produced with different cooling rates, as a -Si is a prototypical covalently bonded network glass whose structure and properties cannot be characterized using structural parameters such as free volume used for metallic and polymeric glasses. Specifically, we demonstrate a quantitative prediction of the shear modulus of a -Si from the flexibility for atomic motion. This flexibility volume descriptor, when evaluated on the atomic scale, is shown to also correlate well with local packing, as well as with the propensity for thermal relaxations and shear transformations, providing a metric to map out and explain the structural and mechanical heterogeneity in the amorphous material. This case study of a model of covalently bonded network a -Si, together with our earlier demonstration for metallic glasses, points to the universality of flexibility volume as an indicator of the structure state to link with properties, applicable across amorphous materials with different chemical bonding and atomic packing structures.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Optical losses in amorphous silicon solar cells due to back reflectors

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, B.L.; Madjdpour, J.; Von Roedern, B.; Chen, W.; Hegedus, S.S.

    1997-07-01

    The authors have used a new numerical model and here present initial results on how texturing and backreflectors affect the maximum achievable short-circuit current densities in amorphous silicon solar cells.

  16. 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.

  17. Polymer derived ceramic composites as environmental barrier coatings on steel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torrey, Jessica D.

    Polymer derived ceramics have shown promise as a novel way to process low-dimensional ceramics such as fibers and coatings. They offer advantages over traditional ceramic processing routes including lower pyrolysis temperatures and the ability to employ polymeric processing techniques. The main drawback to preceramic polymers is that they undergo a shrinkage during pyrolysis that can be greater than 50-volume%. One way to overcome this shrinkage is to add filler particles, usually elemental or binary metals, which will expand upon reaction with the pyrolysis atmosphere, thereby compensating for the shrinkage of the polymer. The aim of this study is to develop a polymer derived ceramic composite coating on steel as a barrier to oxidation and carburization, while concurrently gaining insight as to the fundamental mechanisms for compositional and microstructural evolution within the system. A systematic approach to selecting the preceramic polymer and expansion agents was taken. Six commercially available poly(silsesquioxane) polymers and a polysiloxane were studied. Several metals and an intermetallic were considered as potential expansion agents. The most desirable polymer/expansion agent combination was achieved with poly(hydridomethylsiloxane) as the matrix and titanium disilicide as the filler. Processing parameters have been optimized and a relationship derived to predict final coating thickness based on slurry viscosity and dip coating withdrawal speed. Microstructural analysis reveals an amorphous composite coating of oxidized filler particles in a silica matrix. A diffusion layer is visible at the coating-steel interface, indicating good bonding. The optimized coatings are ˜18mum thick, have some residual porosity and a density of 2.57g/cm3. A systematic study of the phase transformations and microstructural changes in the coating and its components during pyrolysis in air is also presented. The system evolves from a polymer filled with a binary metal at

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S. )

    1991-12-01

    This report describes research to improve the understanding of amorphous silicon alloys and other relevant non-semiconductor materials for use in high-efficiency, large-area multijunction modules. The research produced an average subcell initial efficiency of 8.8% over a 1-ft{sup 2} area using same-band-gap, dual-junction cells deposited over a ZnO/AlSi back reflector. An initial efficiency of 9.6% was achieved using a ZnO/Ag back reflector over smaller substrates. A sputtering machine will be built to deposit a ZnO/Ag back reflector over a 1-ft{sup 2} area so that a higher efficiency can also be obtained on larger substrates. Calculations have been performed to optimize the grid pattern, bus bars, and cell interconnects on modules. With our present state of technology, we expect a difference of about 6% between the aperture-area and active-area efficiencies of modules. Preliminary experiments show a difference of about 8%. We can now predict the performance of single-junction cells after long-term light exposure at 50{degree}C by exposing cells to short-term intense light at different temperatures. We find that single-junction cells deposited on a ZnO/Ag back reflector show the highest stabilized efficiency when the thickness of the intrinsic layers is about 2000 {angstrom}. 8 refs.

  10. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin film anode for proton conducting batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Tiejun; Young, Kwo; Beglau, David; Yan, Shuli; Zeng, Peng; Cheng, Mark Ming-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous Si (a-Si:H) thin films deposited by chemical vapor deposition were used as anode in a non-conventional nickel metal hydride battery using a proton-conducting ionic liquid based non-aqueous electrolyte instead of alkaline solution for the first time, which showed a high specific discharge capacity of 1418 mAh g-1 for the 38th cycle and retained 707 mAh g-1 after 500 cycles. A maximum discharge capacity of 3635 mAh g-1 was obtained at a lower discharge rate, 510 mA g-1. This electrochemical discharge capacity is equivalent to about 3.8 hydrogen atoms stored in each silicon atom. Cyclic voltammogram showed an improved stability 300 mV below the hydrogen evolution potential. Both Raman spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy studies showed no difference to the pre-existing covalent Si-H bond after electrochemical cycling and charging, indicating a non-covalent nature of the Si-H bonding contributing to the reversible hydrogen storage of the current material. Another a-Si:H thin film was prepared by an rf-sputtering deposition followed by an ex-situ hydrogenation, which showed a discharge capacity of 2377 mAh g-1.

  11. Effect of argon ion bombardment on amorphous silicon carbonitride films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batocki, R. G. S.; Mota, R. P.; Honda, R. Y.; Santos, D. C. R.

    2014-04-01

    Amorphous silicon carbonitride (a-SiCN:H) films were synthesized by radiofrequency (RF) Plasma Enhanced Vapor Chemical Deposition (PECVD) using hexamethyldisilazane (HMDSN) as precursor compound. Then, the films were post-treated by Plasma Immersion Ion Implantation (PIII) in argon atmosphere from 15 to 60 min. The hardness of the film enhanced after ion implantation, and the sample treated at 45 min process showed hardness greater than sixfold that of the untreated sample. This result is explained by the crosslinking and densification of the structure. Films were exposed to oxygen plasma for determining of the etching rate. It decreased monotonically from 33 Å/min to 19 Å/min for the range of process time, confirming structural alterations. Hydrophobic character of the a-SiCN:H films were modified immediately after ion bombardment, due to incorporation of polar groups. However, the high wettability of the films acquired by the ion implantation was diminished after aging in air. Therefore, argon PIII made a-SiCN:H films mechanically more resistant and altered their hydrophobic character.

  12. Crystalline-to-amorphous phase transition in irradiated silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Seidman, D.N.; Averback, R.S.; Okamoto, P.R.; Baily, A.C.

    1986-01-01

    The amorphous(a)-to-crystalline (c) phase transition has been studied in electron(e ) and/or ion irradiated silicon (Si). The irradiations were performed in situ in the Argonne High Voltage Microscope-Tandem Facility. The irradiation of Si, at <10K, with 1-MeV e to a fluence of 14 dpa failed to induce the c-to-a transition. Whereas an irradiation, at <10K, with 1.0 or 1.5-MeV Kr+ ions induced the c-to-a transition by a fluence of approx.0.37 dpa. Alternatively a dual irradiation, at 10K, with 1.0-MeV e and 1.0 or 1.5-MeV Kr+ to a Kr+ fluence of 1.5 dpa - where the ratio of the displacement rates for e to ions was approx.0.5 - resulted in the Si specimen retaining a degree of crystallinity. These results are discussed in terms of the degree of dispersion of point defects in the primary state of damage and the mobilities of point defects.

  13. ON-state reliability of amorphous-silicon antifuses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasudevan, N.; Fair, R. B.; Massoud, H. Z.; Zhao, T.; Look, K.; Karpovich, Y.; Hart, M. J.

    1998-12-01

    The ON state of metal-to-metal amorphous-silicon antifuses suffers from two reliability concerns: switch-off and dc-stress failure. The switch-off current and dc-stress lifetime are strongly dependent on the temperature of the conducting filament and hence, on the programming current and ambient temperature. Numerical simulations of the filament temperature in the ON state were carried out to explain the experimental characteristics obtained in this work such as the dependence of the switch off and dc-stress failures on ambient temperature, stress current, and programming current. The temperature in the conducting filament is found to increase as the square of the stress current. The temperature and power dissipation at switch off are found to be independent of the programming current. The temperature at switch off is determined to be approximately 1500 °C. The ON-state device lifetime decreases exponentially with increasing stress current and ambient temperature. Numerical simulations of the temperature in the ON state successfully explain the experimentally observed increase in switch-off currents with programming current and the exponential decrease in device lifetime with increasing programming currents, stress currents, and ambient temperature.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon barriers for niobium-niobium Josephson junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Kroger, H.; Aucoin, R.; Currier, L.W.; Jillie, D.W.; Potter, C.N.; Shaw, D.W.; Smith, L.N.; Thaxter, J.B.; Willis, P.H.

    1985-03-01

    The authors report on further studies of the effects of hydrogenation of sputtered amorphous silicon barriers upon the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of Nb-Nb Josephson tunnel junctions. For composite trilayer barriers (a-Si/a-Si:H/a-Si) which are deposited using 8 mT of Ar, we find that there is an abrupt improvement in device characteristics when the central hydrogenated layer is deposited using a hydrogen partial pressure which exceeds about 0.5 mT. They attribute this to the reduction in the density of localized states in the a-Si:H layer. We have observed excellent I-V characteristics with trilayer barrier devices whose central hydrogenated layer is only about 1/7 of the thickness of the entire barrier. This observation suggests that localized states near the geometric center of the barrier are the most significant in degrading device characteristics. Annealing experiments and published data on the diffusion of deuterium in a-Si suggest that the composite barriers will be extremely stable during processing and storage. Zero bias anomalies in device I-V characteristics and spin density in the a-Si and a-Si:H layers have been measured.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. Amorphization and reduction of thermal conductivity in porous silicon by irradiation with swift heavy ions

    SciTech Connect

    Newby, Pascal J.; Canut, Bruno; Bluet, Jean-Marie; Lysenko, Vladimir; Gomes, Severine; Isaiev, Mykola; Burbelo, Roman; Chantrenne, Patrice; Frechette, Luc G.

    2013-07-07

    In this article, we demonstrate that the thermal conductivity of nanostructured porous silicon is reduced by amorphization and also that this amorphous phase in porous silicon can be created by swift (high-energy) heavy ion irradiation. Porous silicon samples with 41%-75% porosity are irradiated with 110 MeV uranium ions at six different fluences. Structural characterisation by micro-Raman spectroscopy and SEM imaging show that swift heavy ion irradiation causes the creation of an amorphous phase in porous Si but without suppressing its porous structure. We demonstrate that the amorphization of porous silicon is caused by electronic-regime interactions, which is the first time such an effect is obtained in crystalline silicon with single-ion species. Furthermore, the impact on the thermal conductivity of porous silicon is studied by micro-Raman spectroscopy and scanning thermal microscopy. The creation of an amorphous phase in porous silicon leads to a reduction of its thermal conductivity, up to a factor of 3 compared to the non-irradiated sample. Therefore, this technique could be used to enhance the thermal insulation properties of porous Si. Finally, we show that this treatment can be combined with pre-oxidation at 300 Degree-Sign C, which is known to lower the thermal conductivity of porous Si, in order to obtain an even greater reduction.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Amorphous silicon carbide ultramicroelectrode arrays for neural stimulation and recording.

    PubMed

    Deku, Felix; Cohen, Yarden; Joshi-Imre, Alexandra; Kanneganti, Aswini; Gardner, Timothy; Cogan, Stuart

    2017-09-27

    Foreign body response to indwelling cortical microelectrodes limits the reliability of neural stimulation and recording, particularly for extended chronic applications in behaving animals. The extent to which this response compromises the chronic stability of neural devices depends on many factors including the materials used in the electrode construction, the size, and geometry of the indwelling structure. Here, we report on the development of microelectrode arrays (MEAs) based on amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC). This technology utilizes a-SiC for its chronic stability and employs semiconductor manufacturing processes to create MEAs with small shank dimensions. The a-SiC films were deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and patterned by thin-film photolithographic techniques. To improve stimulation and recording capabilities with small contact areas, we investigated low impedance coatings on the electrode sites. The assembled devices were characterized in phosphate buffered saline for their electrochemical properties. MEAs utilizing a-SiC as both the primary structural element and encapsulation were fabricated successfully. These a-SiC MEAs had 16 penetrating shanks. Each shank has a cross-sectional area less than 60 µm<sup>2</sup> and electrode sites with a geometric surface area varying from 20-200 μm<sup>2</sup>. Electrode coatings of TiN and SIROF reduced 1 kHz electrode impedance to less than 100 kΩ from ~2.8 MΩ for 100 µm<sup>2</sup> Au electrode sites and increased the charge injection capacities to values greater than 3 mC/cm<sup>2</sup>. Finally, we demonstrated functionality by recording neural activity from basal ganglia nucleus of Zebra Finches and motor cortex of rat. The a-SiC MEAs provide a significant advancement in the development of microelectrodes that over the years has relied on silicon platforms for device manufacture. These flexible a-SiC MEAs have the potential for

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

    Wiley et al. (1982) have studied sputtered amorphous films of Nb-Ni, Mo-Ni, Si-W, and Si-Mo. Kung et al. (1984) have found that amorphous Ni-Mo films as diffusion barriers between multilayer metallizations on silicon demonstrate good electrical and thermal stability. In the present investigation, the Ni-W system was selected because it is similar to the Ni-Mo system. However, W has a higher silicide formation temperature than Mo. Attention is given to aspects of sample preparation, sample characterization, the interaction between amorphous Ni-W films and Si, the crystallization of amorphous Ni(36)W(64) films on SiO2, amorphous Ni-N-W films, silicide formation and phase separation, and the crystallization of amorphous Ni(36)W(64) and Ni(30)N(21)W(49) layers.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Status and future of government-supported amorphous silicon research in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, W L; Sabisky, E S

    1986-06-01

    The Amorphous Silicon Research Project (ASRP) was established at the Solar Energy Research Institute in 1983 and is responsible for all US Department of Energy government supported research activities in the field of amorphous silicon photovoltaics. The objectives and research directions of the project have been established by a Five-Year Research Plan, which was developed at SERI in cooperation with the Department of Energy in 1984 and is divided into research on single-junction and multi-junction solar cells. DOE/SERI has recently initiated a new three year program to be performed in collaboration with US industry to perform work on high efficiency amorphous silicon solar cells and submodules. The objectives of this initiative are: (i) to achieve 18% efficiencies for small area multi-junction amorphous silicon cells, and (ii) to achieve amorphous silicon submodule efficiencies in the 10 to 13% range for single-junction and multi-junction submodule configurations over areas of at least 1000 cm/sup 2/.

  18. Catalytic phosphorus and boron doping of amorphous silicon films for application to silicon heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohdaira, Keisuke; Seto, Junichi; Matsumura, Hideki

    2017-08-01

    We investigate a novel doping method, catalytic impurity doping (Cat-doping), for application to the fabrication of silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells. Thin n- or p-type doped layers can be formed on intrinsic amorphous Si (a-Si) films by exposing P- or B-related radicals generated by the catalytic cracking of phosphine (PH3) or diborane (B2H6) gas molecules. The passivation quality of underlying a-Si films can be maintained both for phosphorus (P) and boron (B) Cat-doping if we carefully choose the appropriate substrate temperature during Cat-doping. We confirm the rectifying and photovoltaic properties of an SHJ solar cell containing a B Cat-doped layer as a p-type a-Si emitter. These findings suggest the applicability of Cat-doping to SHJ solar cells.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Marrs, Michael A; Raupp, Gregory B

    2016-07-26

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Evolution of amorphous selenium nanoballs in silicone oil and their solvent induced morphological transformation.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Arun Kumar; Sasmal, Anup Kumar; Mehetor, Shyamal Kumar; Pradhan, Mukul; Pal, Tarasankar

    2014-12-25

    Selenium generally exhibits preferential habitual 1D growth as a result of redox reactions of selenium compounds. Commercial Se powder melts in silicone oil under refluxing conditions and upon subsequent cooling evolve amorphous Se nanoballs (SNBs). Further ultrapure crystalline 1D Se grows from SNBs due to solvent mediated oriented attachment.

  2. Fabrication and Modeling of Ambipolar Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Thin Film Transistors.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-08-01

    provided by the Air Force Academy and the Air Force Institute of Technology for this research. In addition, the funding from Delco Electronics for... REVIEW ................................................... 3 2.1 Introduction... technology . In particular, with the realization that hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) could be prepared with a low density of localized states in

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Laser annealing study of PECVD deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbon alloy films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coscia, U.; Ambrosone, G.; Gesuele, F.; Grossi, V.; Parisi, V.; Schutzmann, S.; Basa, D. K.

    2007-12-01

    The influence of carbon content on the crystallization process has been investigated for the excimer laser annealed hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbon alloy films deposited by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PECVD) technique, using silane methane gas mixture diluted in helium, as well as for the hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon carbon alloy films prepared by PECVD from silane methane gas mixture highly diluted in hydrogen, for comparison. The study demonstrates clearly that the increase in the carbon content prevents the crystallization process in the hydrogen diluted samples while the crystallization process is enhanced in the laser annealing of amorphous samples because of the increase in the absorbed laser energy density that occurs for the amorphous films with the higher carbon content. This, in turn, facilitates the crystallization for the laser annealed samples with higher carbon content, resulting in the formation of SiC crystallites along with Si crystallites.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.}

  18. Ultrafast optical control using the Kerr nonlinearity in hydrogenated amorphous silicon microcylindrical resonators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vukovic, N.; Healy, N.; Suhailin, F. H.; Mehta, P.; Day, T. D.; Badding, J. V.; Peacock, A. C.

    2013-10-01

    Microresonators are ideal systems for probing nonlinear phenomena at low thresholds due to their small mode volumes and high quality (Q) factors. As such, they have found use both for fundamental studies of light-matter interactions as well as for applications in areas ranging from telecommunications to medicine. In particular, semiconductor-based resonators with large Kerr nonlinearities have great potential for high speed, low power all-optical processing. Here we present experiments to characterize the size of the Kerr induced resonance wavelength shifting in a hydrogenated amorphous silicon resonator and demonstrate its potential for ultrafast all-optical modulation and switching. Large wavelength shifts are observed for low pump powers due to the high nonlinearity of the amorphous silicon material and the strong mode confinement in the microcylindrical resonator. The threshold energy for switching is less than a picojoule, representing a significant step towards advantageous low power silicon-based photonic technologies.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. In situ laser reflectometry study of the amorphization of silicon carbide by MeV ion implantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henkel, T.; Heera, V.; Kögler, R.; Skorupa, W.

    1998-09-01

    In situ laser reflectometry and ex situ Rutherford backscattering spectrometry have been used to investigate the ion fluence and temperature dependence of the amorphization process in silicon carbide induced by 3 MeV I2+ irradiation. A comparative study in silicon showed that damage accumulation in silicon carbide proceeds more gradually in the preliminary stage of amorphization. The amorphization fluence depends weakly on temperature below 300 K but strongly above 300 K. Silicon carbide is amorphized more quickly than silicon at elevated temperatures. At very low temperatures a higher ion fluence for the amorphization of silicon carbide is required in comparison to silicon. Owing to this behavior, different mechanisms of damage growth are assumed to be present in these semiconductors. A critical energy density of 5.6×1024 eV/cm3 for the amorphization of the silicon carbide crystal up to the surface has been found at room temperature. Experimental results are compared with predictions of the models proposed by Carter as well as by Morehead and Crowder.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. An amorphous silicon photodiode with 2 THz gain-bandwidth product based on cycling excitation process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Lujiang; Yu, Yugang; Zhang, Alex Ce; Hall, David; Niaz, Iftikhar Ahmad; Raihan Miah, Mohammad Abu; Liu, Yu-Hsin; Lo, Yu-Hwa

    2017-09-01

    Since impact ionization was observed in semiconductors over half a century ago, avalanche photodiodes (APDs) using impact ionization in a fashion of chain reaction have been the most sensitive semiconductor photodetectors. However, APDs have relatively high excess noise, a limited gain-bandwidth product, and high operation voltage, presenting a need for alternative signal amplification mechanisms of superior properties. As an amplification mechanism, the cycling excitation process (CEP) was recently reported in a silicon p-n junction with subtle control and balance of the impurity levels and profiles. Realizing that CEP effect depends on Auger excitation involving localized states, we made the counter intuitive hypothesis that disordered materials, such as amorphous silicon, with their abundant localized states, can produce strong CEP effects with high gain and speed at low noise, despite their extremely low mobility and large number of defects. Here, we demonstrate an amorphous silicon low noise photodiode with gain-bandwidth product of over 2 THz, based on a very simple structure. This work will impact a wide range of applications involving optical detection because amorphous silicon, as the primary gain medium, is a low-cost, easy-to-process material that can be formed on many kinds of rigid or flexible substrates.

  6. Crystalline-amorphous core-shell silicon nanowires for high capacity and high current battery electrodes.

    PubMed

    Cui, Li-Feng; Ruffo, Riccardo; Chan, Candace K; Peng, Hailin; Cui, Yi

    2009-01-01

    Silicon is an attractive alloy-type anode material for lithium ion batteries because of its highest known capacity (4200 mAh/g). However silicon's large volume change upon lithium insertion and extraction, which causes pulverization and capacity fading, has limited its applications. Designing nanoscale hierarchical structures is a novel approach to address the issues associated with the large volume changes. In this letter, we introduce a core-shell design of silicon nanowires for highpower and long-life lithium battery electrodes. Silicon crystalline-amorphous core-shell nanowires were grown directly on stainless steel current collectors by a simple one-step synthesis. Amorphous Si shells instead of crystalline Si cores can be selected to be electrochemically active due to the difference of their lithiation potentials. Therefore, crystalline Si cores function as a stable mechanical support and an efficient electrical conducting pathway while amorphous shells store Li(+) ions. We demonstrate here that these core-shell nanowires have high charge storage capacity ( approximately 1000 mAh/g, 3 times of carbon) with approximately 90% capacity retention over 100 cycles. They also show excellent electrochemical performance at high rate charging and discharging (6.8 A/g, approximately 20 times of carbon at 1 h rate).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Increased medium-range order in amorphous silicon with increased substrate temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Voyles, P. M.; Gerbi, J. E.; Treacy, M. M. J.; Gibson, J. M.; Aberlson, J. R.

    2000-08-15

    Using fluctuation electron microscopy, the authors have measured the medium-range order of magnetron sputtered silicon thin films as a function of substrate temperature from the amorphous to polycrystalline regimes. They find a smooth increase in the medium-range order of the samples, which they interpret in the context of the paracrystalline structural model as an increase in the size of and/or volume fraction occupied by the paracrystalline grains. These data are counter to the long-standing belief that there is a sharp transition between amorphous and polycrystalline structures as a function of substrate temperature.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Study on the fabrication of silicon nanoparticles in an amorphous silicon light absorbing layer for solar cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Joo Hyung; Song, Jinsoo; Lee, Jae Hee; Lee, Jeong Chul

    2012-06-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous-silicon (a-Si:H) thin-film solar cells have advantages of relatively simple technology, less material consumption, higher absorption ratio compared to crystalline silicon, and low cost due to the use of cheaper substrates rather than silicon wafers. However, together with those advantages, amorphous-silicon thin-film solar cells face several issues such as a relatively lower efficiency, a relatively wider bandgap, and the Staebler-Wronski effect (SWE) compared to other competing materials ( i.e., crystalline silicon, CdTe, Cu(In x Ga(1- x))Se2 (CIGS), etc.). As a remedy for those drawbacks and a way to enhance the cell conversion efficiency at the same time, the employment of crystalline silicon nanoparticles (Si-NPs) in the a-Si matrix is proposed to organize the quantum-dot (QD) structure as the light-absorbing layer. This structure of the light absorbing layer consists of single-crystal Si-NPs in an a-Si:H thin-film matrix. The single-crystal Si-NPs are synthesized by using SiH4 gas decomposition with CO2 laser pyrolysis, and the sizes of Si-NPs are calibrated to control their bandgaps. The synthesized size-controlled Si-NPs are directly transferred to another chamber to form a QD structure by using co-deposition of the Si-NPs and the a-Si:H matrix. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses are employed to verify the sizes and the crystalline properties of the Si-NPs alone and of the Si-NPs in the a-Si:H matrix. The TEM results show successful co-deposition of size-controlled Si-NPs in the a-Si:H matrix, which is meaningful because it suggests the possibility of further enhancement of the a-Si:H solar-cell structure and of tandem structure applications by using a single element.

  15. 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.

  16. Efficient Crystalline Si Solar Cell with Amorphous/Crystalline Silicon Heterojunction as Back Contact: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Nemeth, B.; Wang, Q.; Shan, W.

    2012-06-01

    We study an amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction (Si HJ) as a back contact in industrial standard p-type five-inch pseudo-square wafer to replace Al back surface field (BSF) contact. The best efficiency in this study is over 17% with open-circuit (Voc) of 0.623 V, which is very similar to the control cell with Al BSF. We found that Voc has not been improved with the heterojunction structure in the back. The typical minority carrier lifetime of these wafers is on the order of 10 us. We also found that the doping levels of p-layer affect the FF due to conductivity and band gap shifting, and an optimized layer is identified. We conclude that an amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction can be a very promising structure to replace Al BSF back contact.

  17. Amorphous silicon pixel radiation detectors and associated thin film transistor electronics readout

    SciTech Connect

    Perez-Mendez, V.; Cho, G.; Drewery, J.; Jing, T.; Kaplan, S.N.; Mireshghi, A.; Wildermuth, D. ); Goodman, C. ); Fujieda, I. )

    1992-07-01

    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-ray, {gamma} rays and thermal neutrons. 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 thermal neutron detection we use thin (2{approximately}5 {mu}m) gadolinium converters on 30 {mu}m thick a-Si:H diodes. For direct detection of minimum ionizing particles and others with high resistance to radiation damage, we use the thick p-i-n diode arrays. Diode and amorphous silicon readouts as well as polysilicon pixel amplifiers are described.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Label-Free Direct Electronic Detection of Biomolecules with Amorphous Silicon Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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 μm2. 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. PMID:17292148

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Argon Dilution as an Alternative to Hydrogen Dilution for the Preparation of Large Area Device Quality Amorphous Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Layek, Animesh; Middya, Somnath; Ray, Partha Pratim

    2011-07-01

    In stead of using silane-hydrogen mixture we have used silane-argon mixture to develop device quality amorphous silicon on large area for solar cell application. Although silane-hydrogen mixture gives very good material, it increases the risk of fire hazard. On the other hand argon-silane mixture promotes a much safer process. In this work large area (20×20 cm2) device quality amorphous silicon have been developed by argon dilution method for industrial use.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Polarized electroabsorption spectra and light soaking of solar cells based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Lin; Wang, Qi; Schiff, E. A.; Guha, S.; Yang, J.

    1998-03-01

    We present grazing-incidence measurements of polarized electroabsorption spectra in p-i-n solar cells based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). We find a significantly stronger polarization dependence in the present measurements compared with earlier work based on electroabsorption detected using coplanar electrodes on a-Si:H thin films. We do not find any significant dependence of the polarized electroabsorption upon light soaking, although this effect was found in previous work with coplanar electrodes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Fluctuating defect density probed with noise spectroscopy in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Verleg, P.A.W.E.; Uca, O.; Dijkhuis, J.I.

    1997-07-01

    Resistance fluctuations have been studied in hydrogenated amorphous silicon in the temperature range between 300 K and 450 K. The primary noise source has a power spectrum of approximately 1/f and is ascribed to hydrogen motion. Hopping of weakly bound hydrogen is thermally activated at such low temperatures with an average activation energy of 0.85 eV. The attempt rate amounts to 7 {center_dot} 10{sup 12} s{sup {minus}1}.

  19. 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.

  20. Photocapacitance and hole drift mobility measurements in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H)

    SciTech Connect

    Nurdjaja, I.; Schiff, E.A.

    1997-07-01

    The authors present measurements of the photocapacitance in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) Schottky barrier diodes under reverse bias. A calculation relating photocapacitance to hole drift mobility measurements is also presented; the calculation incorporates the prominent dispersion effect for holes in a-Si:H usually attributed to valence bandtail trapping. The calculation accounts quantitatively for the magnitude and voltage-dependence of the photocapacitance.

  1. 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.

  2. Niobium nitride-niobium Josephson tunnel junctions with sputtered amorphous silicon barriers

    SciTech Connect

    Jillie, D.W.; Kroger, H.; Smith, L.N.; Cukauskas, E.J.; Nisenoff, M.

    1982-04-15

    Niobium nitride-niobium Josephson tunnel junctions with sputtered amorphous silicon barriers (NbN-..cap alpha..Si-Nb) have been prepared using processing that is fully compatible with integrated circuit fabrication. These junctions are of suitable quality and uniformity for digital circuit and S-I-S detector applications. The junction quality depends critically upon the properties of the NbN surface, and seems to correlate well with the UV/visible reflectivity of this surface.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Exploratory observations of random telegraphic signals and noise in homogeneous hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, W. K.; Owen, A. E.; LeComber, P. G.; Rose, M. J.

    1990-07-01

    Noise measurements on unhydrogenated and hydrogenated rf sputtered intrinsic amorphous silicon reported by D'Amico, Fortunato, and Van Vliet [Solid-State Electron. 28, 837 (1985)] have 1/f and Lorentzian spectra, respectively. Similar noise measurements on glow-discharge deposited hydrogenated amorphous intrinsic silicon reported by Bathaei and Anderson [Philos. Mag. B 55, 87 (1987)] gave a 1/f m spectrum with 0.7amorphous silicon is reported. It was found that the current passing through the sample fluctuates between two easily identifiable levels with the periods of fluctuations separated by a quiescent period. The occurrence of these fluctuations is unpredictable but the current noise spectrum obtained during quiescent periods is Lorentzian, probably indicative of a generation-recombination process. Noise measurements are not possible at higher biases (>105 V/cm) as the current fluctuates chaotically and this is also the prebreakdown regime of the sample.

  6. 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.%.

  7. Electron-irradiation-induced crystallization at metallic amorphous/silicon oxide interfaces caused by electronic excitation

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-04-28

    Irradiation-induced crystallization of an amorphous phase was stimulated at a Pd-Si amorphous/silicon oxide (a(Pd-Si)/SiO{sub x}) interface at 298 K by electron irradiation at acceleration voltages ranging between 25 kV and 200 kV. Under irradiation, a Pd-Si amorphous phase was initially formed at the crystalline face-centered cubic palladium/silicon oxide (Pd/SiO{sub x}) interface, followed by the formation of a Pd{sub 2}Si intermetallic compound through irradiation-induced crystallization. The irradiation-induced crystallization can be considered to be stimulated not by defect introduction through the electron knock-on effects and electron-beam heating, but by the electronic excitation mechanism. The observed irradiation-induced structural change at the a(Pd-Si)/SiO{sub x} and Pd/SiO{sub x} interfaces indicates multiple structural modifications at the metal/silicon oxide interfaces through electronic excitation induced by the electron-beam processes.

  8. Amorphous silicon image sensors for x-ray detection in NDT

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, E.E.

    1996-12-31

    Acquiring radiographic images in a digital format offers significant advantages over film. Besides eliminating the need for chemical processing, a digital image can be easily stored for more convenient retrieval, transmitted to remote locations for interpretation, and image processed to provide enhanced interpretation and greater latitude in exposure. Amorphous silicon image sensors, developed by dpiX, a Xerox Company, offer an improved method of acquiring digital x-ray images. Amorphous silicon image sensor technology provides the opportunity to have large format size similar to x-ray film, high resolution, and a compact package for ease of use in NDT applications. This technology can also be used to replace x-ray image intensifier tubes to provide real-time fluoroscopic imaging for capturing time related events such as x-ray examination of objects on a conveyor belt. This paper presents a description of amorphous silicon image sensor technology and provides examples of the performance that can be achieved using a system that has an 8 x 10 inch x-ray image acquisition area and 127 micron pixels for 4 lp/mm resolution.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Shi, Jianwei; Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary

    2016-07-19

    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 siliconwafers 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 voltagemore » of over 710 mV and an efficiency of over 19%.« less

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

    SciTech Connect

    Shi, Jianwei; Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary

    2016-07-19

    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 siliconwafers 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%.

  11. 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.

  12. Synchrotron applications of an amorphous silicon flat-panel detector.

    PubMed

    Lee, John H; Aydiner, C Can; Almer, Jonathan; Bernier, Joel; Chapman, Karena W; Chupas, Peter J; Haeffner, Dean; Kump, Ken; Lee, Peter L; Lienert, Ulrich; Miceli, Antonino; Vera, German

    2008-09-01

    A GE Revolution 41RT flat-panel detector (GE 41RT) from GE Healthcare (GE) has been in operation at the Advanced Photon Source for over two years. The detector has an active area of 41 cm x 41 cm with 200 microm x 200 microm pixel size. The nominal working photon energy is around 80 keV. The physical set-up and utility software of the detector system are discussed in this article. The linearity of the detector response was measured at 80.7 keV. The memory effect of the detector element, called lag, was also measured at different exposure times and gain settings. The modulation transfer function was measured in terms of the line-spread function using a 25 microm x 1 cm tungsten slit. The background (dark) signal, the signal that the detector will carry without exposure to X-rays, was measured at three different gain settings and with exposure times of 1 ms to 15 s. The radial geometric flatness of the sensor panel was measured using the diffraction pattern from a CeO(2) powder standard. The large active area and fast data-capturing rate, i.e. 8 frames s(-1) in radiography mode, 30 frames s(-1) in fluoroscopy mode, make the GE 41RT one of a kind and very versatile in synchrotron diffraction. The loading behavior of a Cu/Nb multilayer material is used to demonstrate the use of the detector in a strain-stress experiment. Data from the measurement of various samples, amorphous SiO(2) in particular, are presented to show the detector effectiveness in pair distribution function measurements.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. Ion beam assisted deposition of hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubler, G. K.; Donovan, E. P.; Gossett, C. R.

    1994-06-01

    Hydrogenated silicon nitride films were produced near room temperature by electron beam evaporation of Si and simultaneous bombardment with a 500 eV ammonia ion beam from a Kaufman ion source and for a variety of ratios of incident charge to evaporant fluxes. The composition of N, Si and H in the films as a function of ion current density was measured by means of Rutherford backscattering and elastic recoil detection analyses. Reflection and transmission spectroscopy in the wavelength range 400 nm to 3125 nm were employed to measure optical thickness and refractive index. From the data we extracted the number of nitrogen atoms in the ammonia beam per unit charge collected, the sputtering coefficient for ammonia incident on Si, and the refractive index versus composition of the alloys. At the highest N composition, the films were clear in the visible with the UV cut-off less than 400 nm, the index was 1.80 which is lower than that of pure Si3N4 and the H content was as high as 27 at.%.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Photoluminescence properties and crystallization of silicon quantum dots in hydrogenated amorphous Si-rich silicon carbide films

    SciTech Connect

    Wen, Guozhi; Zeng, Xiangbin Wen, Xixin; Liao, Wugang

    2014-04-28

    Silicon quantum dots (QDs) embedded in hydrogenated amorphous Si-rich silicon carbide (α-SiC:H) thin films were realized by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition process and post-annealing. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to characterize the room-temperature photoluminescence properties. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to analyze the element compositions and bonding configurations. Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy, Raman scattering, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy were used to display the microstructural properties. Photoluminescence measurements reveal that there are six emission sub-bands, which behave in different ways. The peak wavelengths of sub-bands P1, P2, P3, and P6 are pinned at about 425.0, 437.3, 465.0, and 591.0 nm, respectively. Other two sub-bands, P4 is red-shifted from 494.6 to 512.4 nm and P5 from 570.2 to 587.8 nm with temperature increasing from 600 to 900 °C. But then are both blue-shifted, P4 to 500.2 nm and P5 to 573.8 nm from 900 to 1200 °C. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis shows that the samples are in Si-rich nature, Si-O and Si-N bonds consumed some silicon atoms. The structure characterization displays that a separation between silicon phase and SiC phase happened; amorphous and crystalline silicon QDs synthesized with increasing the annealing temperature. P1, P2, P3, and P6 sub-bands are explained in terms of defect-related emission, while P4 and P5 sub-bands are explained in terms of quantum confinement effect. A correlation between the peak wavelength shift, as well as the integral intensity of the spectrum and crystallization of silicon QDs is supposed. These results help clarify the probable luminescence mechanisms and provide the possibility to optimize the optical properties of silicon QDs in Si-rich α-SiC: H materials.

  2. Two-Dimensional Device Simulator VENUS-2D/B for Amorphous Silicon Thin-Film Transistors Using a Gap-State Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishizuka, Tatsumi; Sumino, Kazuki; Iriye, Yasuroh; Hirose, Masataka

    1991-02-01

    A two-dimensional device simulator VENUS-2D/B for amorphous silicon thin-film transistors has been developed. For the efficient numerical simulation of amorphous silicon devices, the trapped electron density in the band gap is modeled by the combination of exponential functions. The current-voltage characteristics of an inverted-gate hydrogenerated amorphous silicon thin-film transistor were simulated by VENUS-2D/B.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-20

    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 × 10(6) and 3.72 × 10(6) 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Simulation of Amorphous Silicon Anode in Lithium-Ion Batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Miao

    The energy density of the current generation of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) is only about 1% of that of gasoline. Improving the energy density of the rechargeable battery is critical for vehicle electrification. Employing high capacity electrode materials is a key factor in this endeavor. Silicon (Si) is one of the high capacity anode materials for LIBs. However, Si experiences large volume variation (up to 300%) during battery cycling, which affects the structural integrity of the battery and results in rapid capacity fading. It has been shown that the cycle life of Si anode can be improved significantly through various novel electrode designs. So far, such work is conducted through experiments. Numerical simulations have the potentials for design optimization of LIBs, as demonstrated in multiphysics models for LIBs with graphite anode. This research extends a previously developed microstructure-resolved multiphysics (MRM) battery model to LIBs with a-Si anode. The MRM model considers the electrochemical reactions, Li transport in electrodes and electrolyte, Li insertion induced volume change, mechanical strains and stresses, material property evolution with lithiation, and the chemo-mechanical coupling. The model is solved using finite element package COMSOL Multiphysics. The major challenges in this work are the large deformation of the Si, and the uncertainty in parameters and the coupling relation. To simulate the large deformation of Si, a large strain based formulation for the concentration induced volume expansion was used. The electrolyte was modeled as fluid. A method to simulate the galvanostatic charge/discharge of a finite deformation electrode with moving boundary was developed. Important model parameters were determined one by one by correlating the simulation to appropriate experiments. For example, the Li diffusivity in Si reported in literature varies from 10-13 to 10-19 m2/s. To estimate this parameter, the experiment of two-phase lithiation of a

  8. Photo-excited hot carrier dynamics in hydrogenated amorphous silicon imaged by 4D electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Liao, Bolin; Najafi, Ebrahim; Li, Heng; Minnich, Austin J; Zewail, Ahmed H

    2017-09-01

    Charge carrier dynamics in amorphous semiconductors has been a topic of intense research that has been propelled by modern applications in thin-film solar cells, transistors and optical sensors. Charge transport in these materials differs fundamentally from that in crystalline semiconductors owing to the lack of long-range order and high defect density. Despite the existence of well-established experimental techniques such as photoconductivity time-of-flight and ultrafast optical measurements, many aspects of the dynamics of photo-excited charge carriers in amorphous semiconductors remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate direct imaging of carrier dynamics in space and time after photo-excitation in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) by scanning ultrafast electron microscopy (SUEM). We observe an unexpected regime of fast diffusion immediately after photoexcitation, together with spontaneous electron-hole separation and charge trapping induced by the atomic disorder. Our findings demonstrate the rich dynamics of hot carrier transport in amorphous semiconductors that can be revealed by direct imaging based on SUEM.

  9. Structural simplicity as a restraint on the structure of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cliffe, Matthew J.; Bartók, Albert P.; Kerber, Rachel N.; Grey, Clare P.; Csányi, Gábor; Goodwin, Andrew L.

    2017-06-01

    Understanding the structural origins of the properties of amorphous materials remains one of the most important challenges in structural science. In this study, we demonstrate that local "structural simplicity", embodied by the degree to which atomic environments within a material are similar to each other, is a powerful concept for rationalizing the structure of amorphous silicon (a -Si) a canonical amorphous material. We show, by restraining a reverse Monte Carlo refinement against pair distribution function (PDF) data to be simpler, that the simplest model consistent with the PDF is a continuous random network (CRN). A further effect of producing a simple model of a -Si is the generation of a (pseudo)gap in the electronic density of states, suggesting that structural homogeneity drives electronic homogeneity. That this method produces models of a -Si that approach the state-of-the-art without the need for chemically specific restraints (beyond the assumption of homogeneity) suggests that simplicity-based refinement approaches may allow experiment-driven structural modeling techniques to be developed for the wide variety of amorphous semiconductors with strong local order.

  10. Photo-excited hot carrier dynamics in hydrogenated amorphous silicon imaged by 4D electron microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Bolin; Najafi, Ebrahim; Li, Heng; Minnich, Austin J.; Zewail, Ahmed H.

    2017-09-01

    Charge carrier dynamics in amorphous semiconductors has been a topic of intense research that has been propelled by modern applications in thin-film solar cells, transistors and optical sensors. Charge transport in these materials differs fundamentally from that in crystalline semiconductors owing to the lack of long-range order and high defect density. Despite the existence of well-established experimental techniques such as photoconductivity time-of-flight and ultrafast optical measurements, many aspects of the dynamics of photo-excited charge carriers in amorphous semiconductors remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate direct imaging of carrier dynamics in space and time after photo-excitation in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) by scanning ultrafast electron microscopy (SUEM). We observe an unexpected regime of fast diffusion immediately after photoexcitation, together with spontaneous electron-hole separation and charge trapping induced by the atomic disorder. Our findings demonstrate the rich dynamics of hot carrier transport in amorphous semiconductors that can be revealed by direct imaging based on SUEM.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26751446

  12. 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).

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-13

    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.

  15. 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. PMID:28347087

  16. Recent advances in amorphous and microcrystalline silicon basis devices for optoelectronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamakawa, Yoshihiro

    1999-04-01

    The current state of the art in recent advances hydrogenated amorphous and microcrystalline silicon (a-Si and μc-Si) technologies and their applications to optoelectronic devices are reviewed. With the recent progress in material preparation and characterization technologies, we now have an age that considerably high quality thin films having valency electron controllability can be produced. In this paper, recent progress in thin film solar cell fabrication with a-Si and μc-Si technologies for active materials for optoelectronic devices are reviewed first, and their significance are pointed out, then some typical newly developed devices such as integrated amorphous solar cells, flexible solar cells etc., are demonstrated. Secondly, new kinds of thin film light-emitting devices, including solid-state flat panel displays are introduced. In the final part of this paper, the remarkable industrial progress in the field of optoelectronics and the prospects of market expansion toward the 21st century are briefly discussed.

  17. Studies of the new findings in preparing a scaled amorphous silicon thin-film transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Cheng-I.; Fang, Yean-Kuen; Kuo, Che-Hao

    2014-09-01

    New findings in deposition of the phosphorus (P)-doped n+ a-Si (amorphous silicon) thin layer as source/drain regions for a scaled thin-film transistor were studied systematically. The sheet resistance of the n+ a-Si layer decreases with decreasing PH3 gas flow rate. As a result, both on-current and on/off current ratio enhance with decreasing PH3 flow rate up to 370 and 1,515 %, respectively. These observations are contrary to the conventional plasma-enhanced CVD doping process, i.e., lower doping will result in a low sheet resistance. Based on the SEM, AFM, FTIR, XRD and Raman analyses, we attribute the new observations to the change of film structure, i.e., from amorphous Si to nano-Si or micro-Si. Also, the origins of the structure shift are discussed in details.

  18. 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.

  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. Electronic transport in nanocrystalline germanium/hydrogenated amorphous silicon composite thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodurtha, Kent Edward

    Recent interest in composite materials based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) stems in part from its potential for technical applications in thin film transistors and solar cells. Previous reports have shown promising results for films of a-Si:H with embedded silicon nanocrystals, with the goal of combining the low cost, large area benefits of hydrogenated amorphous silicon with the superior electronic characteristics of crystalline material. These materials are fabricated in a dual-chamber plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition system in which the nanocrystals are produced separately from the amorphous film, providing the flexibility to independently tune the growth parameters of each phase; however, electronic transport through these and other similar materials is not well understood. This thesis reports the synthesis and characterization of thin films composed of germanium nanocrystals embedded in a-Si:H. The results presented here describe detailed measurements of the conductivity, photoconductivity and thermopower which reveal a transition from conduction through the a-Si:H for samples with few germanium nanocrystals, to conduction through the nanocrystal phase as the germanium crystal fraction XGe is increased. These films display reduced photosensitivity as XGe is increased, but an unexpected increase in the dark conductivity is found in samples with X Ge > 5% after long light exposures. Detailed studies of the conductivity temperature dependence in these samples exposes a subtle but consistent deviation from the standard Arrhenius expression; the same departure is found in samples of pure a-Si:H; a theoretical model is presented which accurately describes the actual conductivity temperature dependence.

  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. Failure of reciprocity in light-induced changes in hydrogenated amorphous silicon alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S.

    1984-09-01

    From a study of the effect of light exposure on photoconductivity and solar cell performance of hydrogenated amorphous silicon alloys for different exposure time and intensity, we show that the light-induced changes do not obey reciprocity. Degradation is larger at high intensity light exposure for a shorter time than at low intensity exposure for a longer time even though the product of the exposure time and light intensity is kept a constant. A model that can explain the failure of reciprocity is discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Growth mechanisms and characterization of hydrogenated amorphous- silicon-alloy films

    SciTech Connect

    Gallagher, A.; Ostrom, R.: Stutzin, G.; Tanenbaum, D. )

    1993-02-01

    This report describes an apparatus, constructed and tested, that allows measurement of the surface morphology of as-grown hydrogenated amorphous silicon films with atomic resolution using a scanning tunneling microscope. Surface topologies of 100-[degree][Lambda]-thick intrinsic films, deposited on atomically flat, crystalline Si and GaAs, are reported. These films surfaces are relatively flat on the atomic scale, indicating fairly homogeneous, compact initial film growth. The effect of probe-tip size on the observed topology and the development of atomically sharp probes is discussed. 17 refs, 9 figs.

  6. 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.

  7. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon formation by flux control and hydrogen effects on the growth mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyoda, H.; Sugai, H.; Kato, K.; Yoshida, A.; Okuda, T.

    1986-06-01

    The composition of particle flux to deposit hydrogenated amorphous silicon films in a glow discharge is controlled by a combined electrostatic-magnetic deflection technique. As a result, the films are formed firstly without hydrogen ion flux, secondly by neutral flux only, and thirdly by all species fluxes. Comparison of these films reveals the significant role of hydrogen in the surface reactions. Hydrogen breaks the Si-Si bond, decreases the sticking probability of the Si atom, and replaces the SiH bond by a SiH2 bond to increase the hydrogen content of the films.

  8. Enhanced performance of a structured cyclo olefin copolymer-based amorphous silicon solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Xinghua; Chen, Fei; Gao, Mengyu; Tie, Shengnian; Gao, Wei

    2017-07-01

    The submicron array was fabricated onto a cyclo olefin copolymer (COC) film by a hot embossing method. An amorphous silicon p-i-n junction and transparent conductive layers were then deposited onto it through a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and magnetron sputtering. The efficiency of the fabricated COC-based solar cell was measured and the result demonstrated 18.6% increase of the solar cell efficiency when compared to the sample without array structure. The imprinted polymer solar cells with submicron array indeed increase their efficiency.

  9. 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.

  10. X-ray imaging with amorphous silicon active matrix flat-panel imagers (AMFPIs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Mohri, Youcef; Antonuk, Larry E.; Jee, Kyung-Wook; Maolinbay, Manat; Rong, Xiujiang; Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H.; Verma, Manav; Zhao, Qihua

    1997-07-01

    Recent advances in thin-film electronics technology have opened the way for the use of flat-panel imagers in a number of medical imaging applications. These novel imagers offer real time digital readout capabilities (˜30 frames per second), radiation hardness (>106cGy), large area (30×40 cm2) and compactness (˜1 cm). Such qualities make them strong candidates for the replacement of conventional x-ray imaging technologies such as film-screen and image intensifier systems. In this report, qualities and potential of amorphous silicon based active matrix flat-panel imagers are outlined for various applications such as radiation therapy, radiography, fluoroscopy and mammography.

  11. 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.

  12. Absorbing one-dimensional planar photonic crystal for amorphous silicon solar cell.

    PubMed

    El Daif, Ounsi; Drouard, Emmanuel; Gomard, Guillaume; Kaminski, Anne; Fave, Alain; Lemiti, Mustapha; Ahn, Sungmo; Kim, Sihan; Roca I Cabarrocas, Pere; Jeon, Heonsu; Seassal, Christian

    2010-09-13

    We report on the absorption of a 100nm thick hydrogenated amorphous silicon layer patterned as a planar photonic crystal (PPC), using laser holography and reactive ion etching. Compared to an unpatterned layer, electromagnetic simulation and optical measurements both show a 50% increase of the absorption over the 0.38-0.75micron spectral range, in the case of a one-dimensional PPC. Such absorbing photonic crystals, combined with transparent and conductive layers, may be at the basis of new photovoltaic solar cells.

  13. Tunneling through amorphous silicon barriers. Final report, July 1982-August 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Kroger, H.; Smith, L.N.; Jillie, D.W.; Thaxter, J.B.

    1983-10-01

    Substantial evidence has been accumulated during the course of this program which indicates that the localized states which are present in nonhydrogenated sputtered amorphous silicon barriers contribute to the larger current density observed at biases below the superconducting energy gap of the electrodes. The basic observations and the method of measuring the density of localized states at the Fermi level of the barrier materials are presented in the Appendix which is a reprint of a paper presented at the 1982 Superconductivity Conference. More recent observations and theoretical speculations are included in this report.

  14. Polymer-Derived Ceramic Fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ichikawa, Hiroshi

    2016-07-01

    SiC-based ceramic fibers are derived from polycarbosilane or polymetallocarbosilane precursors and are classified into three groups according to their chemical composition, oxygen content, and C/Si atomic ratio. The first-generation fibers are Si-C-O (Nicalon) fibers and Si-Ti-C-O (Tyranno Lox M) fibers. Both fibers contain more than 10-wt% oxygen owing to oxidation during curing and lead to degradation in strength at temperatures exceeding 1,300°C. The maximum use temperature is 1,100°C. The second-generation fibers are SiC (Hi-Nicalon) fibers and Si-Zr-C-O (Tyranno ZMI) fibers. The oxygen content of these fibers is reduced to less than 1 wt% by electron beam irradiation curing in He. The thermal stability of these fibers is improved (they are stable up to 1,500°C), but their creep resistance is limited to a maximum of 1,150°C because their C/Si atomic ratio results in excess carbon. The third-generation fibers are stoichiometric SiC fibers, i.e., Hi-Nicalon Type S (hereafter Type S), Tyranno SA, and Sylramic™ fibers. They exhibit improved thermal stability and creep resistance up to 1,400°C. Stoichiometric SiC fibers meet many of the requirements for the use of ceramic matrix composites for high-temperature structural application. SiBN3C fibers derived from polyborosilazane also show promise for structural applications, remain in the amorphous state up to 1,800°C, and have good high-temperature creep resistance.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Spin transport, magnetoresistance, and electrically detected magnetic resonance in amorphous hydrogenated silicon nitride

    SciTech Connect

    Mutch, Michael J.; Lenahan, Patrick M.; King, Sean W.

    2016-08-08

    We report on a study of spin transport via electrically detected magnetic resonance (EDMR) and near-zero field magnetoresistance (MR) in silicon nitride films. Silicon nitrides have long been important materials in solid state electronics. Although electronic transport in these materials is not well understood, electron paramagnetic resonance studies have identified a single dominating paramagnetic defect and have also provided physical and chemical descriptions of the defects, called K centers. Our EDMR and MR measurements clearly link the near-zero field MR response to the K centers and also indicate that K center energy levels are approximately 3.1 eV above the a-SiN:H valence band edge. In addition, our results suggest an approach for the study of defect mediated spin-transport in inorganic amorphous insulators via variable electric field and variable frequency EDMR and MR which may be widely applicable.

  18. Spin transport, magnetoresistance, and electrically detected magnetic resonance in amorphous hydrogenated silicon nitride

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutch, Michael J.; Lenahan, Patrick M.; King, Sean W.

    2016-08-01

    We report on a study of spin transport via electrically detected magnetic resonance (EDMR) and near-zero field magnetoresistance (MR) in silicon nitride films. Silicon nitrides have long been important materials in solid state electronics. Although electronic transport in these materials is not well understood, electron paramagnetic resonance studies have identified a single dominating paramagnetic defect and have also provided physical and chemical descriptions of the defects, called K centers. Our EDMR and MR measurements clearly link the near-zero field MR response to the K centers and also indicate that K center energy levels are approximately 3.1 eV above the a-SiN:H valence band edge. In addition, our results suggest an approach for the study of defect mediated spin-transport in inorganic amorphous insulators via variable electric field and variable frequency EDMR and MR which may be widely applicable.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 .

  1. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride photonic crystals for improved-performance surface electromagnetic wave biosensors.

    PubMed

    Sinibaldi, Alberto; Descrovi, Emiliano; Giorgis, Fabrizio; Dominici, Lorenzo; Ballarini, Mirko; Mandracci, Pietro; Danz, Norbert; Michelotti, Francesco

    2012-10-01

    We exploit the properties of surface electromagnetic waves propagating at the surface of finite one dimensional photonic crystals to improve the performance of optical biosensors with respect to the standard surface plasmon resonance approach. We demonstrate that the hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride technology is a versatile platform for fabricating one dimensional photonic crystals with any desirable design and operating in a wide wavelength range, from the visible to the near infrared. We prepared sensors based on photonic crystals sustaining either guided modes or surface electromagnetic waves, also known as Bloch surface waves. We carried out for the first time a direct experimental comparison of their sensitivity and figure of merit with surface plasmon polaritons on metal layers, by making use of a commercial surface plasmon resonance instrument that was slightly adapted for the experiments. Our measurements demonstrate that the Bloch surface waves on silicon nitride photonic crystals outperform surface plasmon polaritons by a factor 1.3 in terms of figure of merit.

  2. Fingerprints of two distinct defects causing light-induced photoconductivity degradation in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, Stephan; Branz, Howard M.

    2001-11-01

    We find distinct experimental fingerprints of two metastable defects created during illumination of hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The well-studied threefold-coordinated silicon dangling bond defect has an anneal activation energy near 1.1 eV and dominates annealing experiments above about 110 °C. The second defect created by illumination is the "primary recombination" (pr) center, which causes most of the light-induced photoconductivity decrease and dominates annealing experiments below about 110 °C. Because the pr centers are created in linear proportion to the dangling bond defects, they are difficult to distinguish during degradation. However, we observe clear fingerprints of the pr center during their low T annealing: (1) an anneal activation energy of 0.85 eV; (2) a sharp increase in photoconductivity; and (3) a surprising increase in hν⩽1.1 eV optical absorption.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

    Recombination at silicon nitride (SiNx) and amorphous silicon (a-Si) passivated crystalline silicon (c-Si) surfaces is shown to increase significantly following an ammonia (NH3) 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 NH3 plasma exposure causes (i) an increase in the density of Si≡N3 groups in both SiNx and a-Si films, (ii) a reduction in refractive index and permittivity, (iii) an increase in the density of defects at the SiNx/c-Si interface, and (iv) a reduction in the density of positive charge in SiNx. The changes in recombination and thin film properties are likely due to an insertion of N-H radicals into the bulk of SiNx or a-Si. It is therefore important for device performance to minimize NH3 plasma exposure of SiNx or a-Si passivating films during subsequent fabrication steps.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Fourier transform infrared analysis of ceramic powders: Quantitative determination of alpha, beta, and amorphous phases of silicon nitride

    SciTech Connect

    Trout, T.K.; Bellama, J.M.; Brinckman, F.E.; Faltynek, R.A.

    1989-03-01

    Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) forms the basis for determining the morphological composition of mixtures containing alpha, beta, and amorphous phases of silicon nitride. The analytical technique, involving multiple linear regression treatment of Kubelka-Munk absorbance values from diffuse reflectance measurements, yields specific percent composition data for the amorphous phase as well as the crystalline phases in ternary mixtures of 0--1% by weight Si/sub 3/N/sub 4/ in potassium bromide.

  9. Potentiality of delocalized states in indium-involved amorphous silicon oxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, Y. Z.; Gao, M.; Li, Y.; Du, H. W.; Li, Y. H.; Guo, H. B.; Xu, F.; Ma, Z. Q.

    2017-05-01

    In this short report, the specific molecular coacervate and two kinds of quantum states in indium-involved amorphous silicon oxide [a-SiOx(In)] are studied. The a-SiOx(In) layer is prepared by the magnetron sputtering process for indium tin oxide (ITO) films deposited on n-type silicon substrates, which has been predicted by molecular dynamics simulation and density function theory calculation. The results have been applied to the interpretation of the electronic structure and hole tunneling transport in ITO-SiOx/n-Si photovoltaic (PV) devices. The most significant achievement is that there is either a transition level at 0.30 eV for p-type conductive conversion or an extra level at Ev + 4.60 eV induced by In-O-Si bonding, denoted as molecular orbital levels, within the dielectric amorphous oxide (a-SiOx). The cognizance is crucial for the concepts of passivation, tunneling, selective contact, inversion, and useful defects in modern PV devices.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Band Offsets at the Interface between Crystalline and Amorphous Silicon from First Principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarolimek, K.; Hazrati, E.; de Groot, R. A.; de Wijs, G. A.

    2017-07-01

    The band offsets between crystalline and hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a -Si ∶H ) are key parameters governing the charge transport in modern silicon heterojunction solar cells. They are an important input for macroscopic simulators that are used to further optimize the solar cell. Past experimental studies, using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and capacitance-voltage measurements, have yielded conflicting results on the band offset. Here, we present a computational study on the band offsets. It is based on atomistic models and density-functional theory (DFT). The amorphous part of the interface is obtained by relatively long DFT first-principles molecular-dynamics runs at an elevated temperature on 30 statistically independent samples. In order to obtain a realistic conduction-band position the electronic structure of the interface is calculated with a hybrid functional. We find a slight asymmetry in the band offsets, where the offset in the valence band (0.29 eV) is larger than in the conduction band (0.17 eV). Our results are in agreement with the latest XPS measurements that report a valence-band offset of 0.3 eV [M. Liebhaber et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 031601 (2015), 10.1063/1.4906195].

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Fabrication of amorphous micro-ring arrays in crystalline silicon using ultrashort laser pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuentes-Edfuf, Yasser; Garcia-Lechuga, Mario; Puerto, Daniel; Florian, Camilo; Garcia-Leis, Adianez; Sanchez-Cortes, Santiago; Solis, Javier; Siegel, Jan

    2017-05-01

    We demonstrate a simple way to fabricate amorphous micro-rings in crystalline silicon using direct laser writing. This method is based on the fact that the phase of a thin surface layer can be changed into the amorphous phase by irradiation with a few ultrashort laser pulses (800 nm wavelength and 100 fs duration). Surface-depressed amorphous rings with a central crystalline disk can be fabricated without the need for beam shaping, featuring attractive optical, topographical, and electrical properties. The underlying formation mechanism and phase change pathway have been investigated by means of fs-resolved microscopy, identifying fluence-dependent melting and solidification dynamics of the material as the responsible mechanism. We demonstrate that the lateral dimensions of the rings can be scaled and that the rings can be stitched together, forming extended arrays of structures not limited to annular shapes. This technique and the resulting structures may find applications in a variety of fields such as optics, nanoelectronics, and mechatronics.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Mammalian fibroblast cells show strong preference for laser-generated hybrid amorphous silicon-SiO2 textures.

    PubMed

    Colpitts, Candace; Ektesabi, Amin M; Wyatt, Rachael A; Crawford, Bryan D; Kiani, Amirkianoosh

    2017-01-26

    In this study, we investigated a method to produce bioactive hybrid amorphous silicon and silicon oxide patterns using nanosecond laser pulses. Microscale line patterns were made by laser pulses on silicon wafers at different frequencies (25, 70 and 100 kHz), resulting in ablation patterns with frequency-dependent physical and chemical properties. Incubating the laser-treated silicon substrates with simulated body fluid demonstrated that the physicochemical properties of the laser-treated samples were stable under these conditions, and favored the deposition of bone-like apatite. More importantly, while NIH 3T3 fibroblasts did colonize the untreated regions of the silicon wafers, they showed a strong preference for the laser-treated regions, and further discriminated between substrates treated with different frequencies. Taken together, these data suggest that laser materials processing of silicon-based devices is a promising avenue to pursue in the production of biosensors and other bionic devices.

  17. No benefit from microcrystalline silicon N layers in single junction amorphous silicon p-i-n solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poissant, Y.; Chatterjee, P.; Roca i Cabarrocas, P.

    2003-01-01

    The use of phosphorous-doped microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) as the n-type electrode in single junction hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells has been studied both experimentally and through computer modeling. The aim is to understand why, in spite of a considerable decrease in the activation energy of the n layer—from 0.2 eV in n-a-Si:H to 0.03 eV in n-μc-Si:H—the open-circuit voltage of solar cells fabricated using these two types of n layer remains almost unchanged. Experimental determination of the work function of n-μc-Si:H and n-a-Si:H by the "flatband heterojunction" technique, has revealed that n-μc-Si:H has a higher electron affinity. Thus, in spite of the fact that the difference in activation energy is 0.17 eV, the difference in built-in potential between the two types of cells reduces to about half. Moreover, modeling of the output characteristics of solar cells, having these two types of N layer, indicates a sharp localization of the field at the N/I interface for the cell with a μc-Si:H N layer. As a consequence, the field in the bulk of the intrinsic layer and, hence, the open-circuit voltage for the two types of cell, remain unchanged.

  18. Efficient visible luminescence of nanocrystalline silicon prepared from amorphous silicon films by thermal annealing and stain etching

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Films of nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) were prepared from hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) by using rapid thermal annealing. The formed nc-Si films were subjected to stain etching in hydrofluoric acid solutions in order to passivate surfaces of nc-Si. The optical reflectance spectroscopy revealed the nc-Si formation as well as the high optical quality of the formed films. The Raman scattering spectroscopy was used to estimate the mean size and volume fraction of nc-Si in the annealed films, which were about 4 to 8 nm and 44 to 90%, respectively, depending on the annealing regime. In contrast to as-deposited a-Si:H films, the nc-Si films after stain etching exhibited efficient photoluminescence in the spectral range of 600 to 950 nm at room temperature. The photoluminescence intensity and lifetimes of the stain etched nc-Si films were similar to those for conventional porous Si formed by electrochemical etching. The obtained results indicate new possibilities to prepare luminescent thin films for Si-based optoelectronics. PMID:21711891

  19. Efficient visible luminescence of nanocrystalline silicon prepared from amorphous silicon films by thermal annealing and stain etching.

    PubMed

    Timoshenko, Victor Yur'evich; Gonchar, Kirill Alexandrovich; Mirgorodskiy, Ivan Victorovich; Maslova, Natalia Evgen'evna; Nikulin, Valery Eduardovich; Mussabek, Gaukhar Kalizhanovna; Taurbaev, Yerzhan Toktarovich; Svanbayev, Eldos Abugalievich; Taurbaev, Toktar Iskataevich

    2011-04-19

    Films of nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) were prepared from hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) by using rapid thermal annealing. The formed nc-Si films were subjected to stain etching in hydrofluoric acid solutions in order to passivate surfaces of nc-Si. The optical reflectance spectroscopy revealed the nc-Si formation as well as the high optical quality of the formed films. The Raman scattering spectroscopy was used to estimate the mean size and volume fraction of nc-Si in the annealed films, which were about 4 to 8 nm and 44 to 90%, respectively, depending on the annealing regime. In contrast to as-deposited a-Si:H films, the nc-Si films after stain etching exhibited efficient photoluminescence in the spectral range of 600 to 950 nm at room temperature. The photoluminescence intensity and lifetimes of the stain etched nc-Si films were similar to those for conventional porous Si formed by electrochemical etching. The obtained results indicate new possibilities to prepare luminescent thin films for Si-based optoelectronics.

  20. Plasma deposition of amorphous silicon carbide thin films irradiated with neutrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huran, J.; Bohacek, P.; Kucera, M.; Kleinova, A.; Sasinkova, V.; IEE SAS, Bratislava, Slovakia Team; Polymer Institute, SAS, Bratislava, Slovakia Team; Institute of Chemistry, SAS, Bratislava, Slovakia Team

    2015-09-01

    Amorphous silicon carbide and N-doped silicon carbide thin films were deposited on P-type Si(100) wafer by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technology using silane, methane, ammonium and argon gases. The concentration of elements in the films was determined by RBS and ERDA method. Chemical compositions were analyzed by FTIR spectroscopy. Photoluminescence properties were studied by photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL). Irradiation of samples with various neutron fluencies was performed at room temperature. The films contain silicon, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and small amount of oxygen. From the IR spectra, the films contained Si-C, Si-H, C-H, Si-N, N-H and Si-O bonds. No significance effect on the IR spectra after neutron irradiation was observed. PL spectroscopy results of films showed decreasing PL intensity after neutron irradiation and PL intensity decreased with increased neutron fluencies. The measured current of the prepared structures increased after irradiation with neutrons and rise up with neutron fluencies.

  1. 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.

  2. Amorphous silicon honeycombs as a binder/carbon-free, thin-film Li-ion battery anode.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yu; Peng, Lele; Ding, Yu; Yu, Guihua

    2014-11-04

    Amorphous silicon thin films with honeycombed structures have been prepared using a self-assembled monolayer of polystyrene spheres as the template. The as-prepared thin films may serve as a good anode candidate for thin film Li-ion batteries. This approach can be extended to a wide range of coating materials and substrates with controlled periodic structures.

  3. 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.

  4. Literature Review of Polymer Derived Ceramics

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, Reuben James

    2016-05-25

    Polymer Derived Ceramics (PDCs), also known as preceramic polymers, are valuable coating agents that are used to produce surface barriers on substrates such as stainless steel. These barriers protect against a multitude of environmental threats, and have been used since their research and development in 19772. This paper seeks to review and demonstrate the remarkable properties and versatility that PDCs have to offer, while also giving a brief overview of the processing techniques used today.

  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. Effects of low-level boron doping on the photocurrent of amorphous silicon Schottky photodiodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kakinuma, H.; Kasuya, Y.; Sakamoto, M.; Shibata, S.

    1989-03-01

    The effects of low-level boron doping on the photocurrent-electric field (Jph-F) characteristics of amorphous silicon Schottky photodiodes were investigated by measuring the Jph-F characteristics of a lightly B-doped photodiode with a configuration of Cr/a-Si:H/tin-doped indium oxide (ITO). The Jph-F curves, which were found to be strongly dependent on the B-doping ratio, were analyzed on the basis of Crandall's (1984) theory, and the B-doping dependencies of the mobility-lifetime (mu-tau) product for electrons and holes were deduced. The effects of low-level B-doping on the mu-tau products and space charges of the photodiodes were discussed in terms of the charge state of the dangling bond state.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 3D scanning characteristics of an amorphous silicon position sensitive detector array system.

    PubMed

    Contreras, Javier; Gomes, Luis; Filonovich, Sergej; Correia, Nuno; Fortunato, Elvira; Martins, Rodrigo; Ferreira, Isabel

    2012-02-13

    The 3D scanning electro-optical characteristics of a data acquisition prototype system integrating a 32 linear array of 1D amorphous silicon position sensitive detectors (PSD) were analyzed. The system was mounted on a platform for imaging 3D objects using the triangulation principle with a sheet-of-light laser. New obtained results reveal a minimum possible gap or simulated defect detection of approximately 350 μm. Furthermore, a first study of the angle for 3D scanning was also performed, allowing for a broad range of angles to be used in the process. The relationship between the scanning angle of the incident light onto the object and the image displacement distance on the sensor was determined for the first time in this system setup. Rendering of 3D object profiles was performed at a significantly higher number of frames than in the past and was possible for an incident light angle range of 15 ° to 85 °.

  11. Electroabsorption measurements and built-in potentials in amorphous silicon-germanium solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyou, J. H.; Schiff, E. A.; Guha, S.; Yang, J.

    2001-03-01

    We report electromodulated reflectance spectra in n-i-p solar cells with hydrogenated amorphous silicon-germanium alloy absorber layers. At lower photon energies the spectra are determined by bulk electroabsorption, and exhibit peaks near the optical gap of the absorber layers. Voltage scaling of the electroabsorption spectra indicate a built-in potential of Vbi=1.17 V in cells with absorber layer band gaps of 1.50 eV; in conjunction with earlier work, this value argues against a systematic decline in Vbi with an absorber layer band gap. At higher photon energies the spectra are due to direct electroreflectance; the voltage scaling was consistent with model predictions for the electric field at the interface of the p-type and absorber layers.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Hydrogen-induced rupture of strained Si─O bonds in amorphous silicon dioxide.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Al-Moatasem; Watkins, Matthew B; Grasser, Tibor; Afanas'ev, Valery V; Shluger, Alexander L

    2015-03-20

    Using ab initio modeling we demonstrate that H atoms can break strained Si─O bonds in continuous amorphous silicon dioxide (a-SiO(2)) networks, resulting in a new defect consisting of a threefold-coordinated Si atom with an unpaired electron facing a hydroxyl group, adding to the density of dangling bond defects, such as E' centers. The energy barriers to form this defect from interstitial H atoms range between 0.5 and 1.3 eV. This discovery of unexpected reactivity of atomic hydrogen may have significant implications for our understanding of processes in silica glass and nanoscaled silica, e.g., in porous low-permittivity insulators, and strained variants of a-SiO(2).

  15. 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.

  16. Sputtered amorphous silicon solar cells. Quarterly report No. 2, October 22, 1980-January 22, 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Moustakas, T.D.; Morel, D.L.; Wronski, C.R.

    1981-01-01

    The mechanism of hydrogen incorporation during the film growth was investigated through hydrogen content studies. The data are consistent with a kinetic model of hydrogen incorporation. The hole mobility-lifetime products were measured on a-SiH/sub x//metal Schottky barrier structures with a new method utilizing optical absorption, collection efficiency, and capacitance voltage measurements. The diode properties of reactively sputtered hydrogenated amorphous silicon Schottky barrier structures (a-SiH/sub x//Pt) were investigated as a function of hydrogen content. The data are interpreted in terms of hydrogen modification of the valence band edge and interfacial oxide effects. The fabrication by the method of sputtering of P-I-N/ITO solar cell structures is reported. (MHR)

  17. 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.}

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. Electroless chemical grafting of nitrophenyl groups on n-doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon surfaces.

    PubMed

    Kim, Chulki; Oh, Kiwon; Han, Seunghee; Kim, Kyungkon; Kim, Il Won; Kim, Heesuk

    2014-08-01

    The direct spontaneous grafting of 4-nitrophenyl molecules onto n-doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) surfaces without external ultraviolet, thermal, or electrochemical energy was invegtigated. Clean n-doped a-Si:H thin films were dipped in a solution of 4-nitrobenzenediazonium salts (PNBD) in acetonitrile. After the modified surfaces were rinsed, they were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). XPS and AFM results show that the reaction of an n-doped a-Si:H thin film with PNBD self-terminates without polymerization, after 5 h, and the surface number density of 4-nitrophenyl molecules is 4.2 x 10(15)/cm2. These results demonstrate that the spontaneous grafting of nitrophenyl layers onto n-doped a-Si:H thin films is an attractive pathway toward forming interfaces between a-Si:H and organic layers under ambient conditions.

  3. (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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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%.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Amorphous silicon pixel radiation detectors and associated thin film transistor electronics readout

    SciTech Connect

    Perez-Mendez, V.; Drewery, J.; Hong, W.S.; Jing, T.; Kaplan, S.N.; Lee, H.; Mireshghi, A.

    1994-10-01

    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. Deposition techniques using helium dilution, which produce samples with low stress are described. Pixel arrays for flux exposures can be readout by transistor, single diode or two diode switches. Polysilicon charge sensitive pixel amplifiers for single event detection are described. Various applications in nuclear, particle physics, x-ray medical imaging, neutron crystallography, and radionuclide chromatography are discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinshi; Fang, Fengzhou; Zhang, Xiaodong

    2017-12-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Optimal atomic structure of amorphous silicon obtained from density functional theory calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, Andreas; Pizzagalli, Laurent; Jónsson, Hannes

    2017-06-01

    Atomic structure of amorphous silicon consistent with several reported experimental measurements has been obtained from annealing simulations using electron density functional theory calculations and a systematic removal of weakly bound atoms. The excess energy and density with respect to the crystal are well reproduced in addition to radial distribution function, angular distribution functions, and vibrational density of states. No atom in the optimal configuration is locally in a crystalline environment as deduced by ring analysis and common neighbor analysis, but coordination defects are present at a level of 1%-2%. The simulated samples provide structural models of this archetypal disordered covalent material without preconceived notion of the atomic ordering or fitting to experimental data.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Amorphous silicon research Phase I. Annual subcontract report, August 1, 1994--July 31, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Guha, S.

    1995-10-01

    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 hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) alloy modules. The near-term goal of the program is to achieve 12% stable efficiency by 1998 using the multifunction approach. 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. The bulk of the effort was directed toward the middle and bottom cell structure. 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.

  15. Periodic molybdenum disc array for light trapping in amorphous silicon layer

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jiwei; Deng, Changkai; Yang, Kang; Chen, Haiyan Li, Dongdong; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Ren, Wei

    2016-05-15

    We demonstrate the light trapping effect in amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layer by inserting a layer of periodic molybdenum disc array (MDA) between the a-Si:H layer and the quartz substrate, which forms a three-layer structure of Si/MDA/SiO{sub 2}. The MDA layer was fabricated by a new cost-effective method based on nano-imprint technology. Further light absorption enhancement was realized through altering the topography of MDA by annealing it at 700°C. The mechanism of light absorption enhancement in a-Si:H interfaced with MDA was analyzed, and the electric field distribution and light absorption curve of the different layers in the Si/MDA structure under light illumination of different wavelengths were simulated by employing numerical finite difference time domain (FDTD) solutions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Biodegradable polymers derived from amino acids.

    PubMed

    Khan, Wahid; Muthupandian, Saravanan; Farah, Shady; Kumar, Neeraj; Domb, Abraham J

    2011-12-08

    In the past three decades, the use of polymeric materials has increased dramatically for biomedical applications. Many α-amino acids derived biodegradable polymers have also been intensely developed with the main goal to obtain bio-mimicking functional biomaterials. Polymers derived from α-amino acids may offer many advantages, as these polymers: (a) can be modified further to introduce new functions such as imaging, molecular targeting and drugs can be conjugated chemically to these polymers, (b) can improve on better biological properties like cell migration, adhesion and biodegradability, (c) can improve on mechanical and thermal properties and (d) their degradation products are expected to be non-toxic and readily metabolized/excreted from the body. This manuscript focuses on biodegradable polymers derived from natural amino acids, their synthesis, biocompatibility and biomedical applications. It is observed that polymers derived from α-amino acids constitute a promising family of biodegradable materials. These provide innovative multifunctional polymers possessing amino acid side groups with biological activity and with innumerous potential applications.

  19. 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.

  20. Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Studies of n-i-p Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Based Photovoltaic Devices

    PubMed Central

    Karki Gautam, Laxmi; Junda, Maxwell M.; Haneef, Hamna F.; Collins, Robert W.; Podraza, Nikolas J.

    2016-01-01

    Optimization of thin film photovoltaics (PV) relies on characterizing the optoelectronic and structural properties of each layer and correlating these properties with device performance. Growth evolution diagrams have been used to guide production of materials with good optoelectronic properties in the full hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) PV device configuration. The nucleation and evolution of crystallites forming from the amorphous phase were studied using in situ near-infrared to ultraviolet spectroscopic ellipsometry during growth of films prepared as a function of hydrogen to reactive gas flow ratio R = [H2]/[SiH4]. In conjunction with higher photon energy measurements, the presence and relative absorption strength of silicon-hydrogen infrared modes were measured by infrared extended ellipsometry measurements to gain insight into chemical bonding. Structural and optical models have been developed for the back reflector (BR) structure consisting of sputtered undoped zinc oxide (ZnO) on top of silver (Ag) coated glass substrates. Characterization of the free-carrier absorption properties in Ag and the ZnO + Ag interface as well as phonon modes in ZnO were also studied by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Measurements ranging from 0.04 to 5 eV were used to extract layer thicknesses, composition, and optical response in the form of complex dielectric function spectra (ε = ε1 + iε2) for Ag, ZnO, the ZnO + Ag interface, and undoped a-Si:H layer in a substrate n-i-p a-Si:H based PV device structure. PMID:28773255

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of back reflectors on photon absorption in thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hossain, Mohammad I.; Qarony, Wayesh; Hossain, M. Khalid; Debnath, M. K.; Uddin, M. Jalal; Tsang, Yuen Hong

    2017-08-01

    In thin-film solar cells, the photocurrent conversion productivity can be distinctly boosted-up utilizing a proper back reflector. Herein, the impact of different smooth and textured back reflectors was explored and effectuated to study the optical phenomena with interface engineering strategies and characteristics of transparent contacts. A unique type of wet-chemically textured glass-substrate 3D etching mask used in superstrate (p-i-n) amorphous silicon-based solar cell along with legitimated back reflector permits joining the standard light-trapping methodologies, which are utilized to upgrade the energy conversion efficiency (ECE). To investigate the optical and electrical properties of solar cell structure, the optical simulations in three-dimensional measurements (3D) were performed utilizing finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) technique. This design methodology allows to determine the power losses, quantum efficiencies, and short-circuit current densities of various layers in such solar cell. The short-circuit current densities for different reflectors were varied from 11.50 to 13.27 and 13.81 to 16.36 mA/cm2 for the smooth and pyramidal textured solar cells, individually. Contrasted with the comparable flat reference cell, the short-circuit current density of textured solar cell was increased by around 24%, and most extreme outer quantum efficiencies rose from 79 to 86.5%. The photon absorption was fundamentally improved in the spectral region from 600 to 800 nm with no decrease of photocurrent shorter than 600-nm wavelength. Therefore, these optimized designs will help to build the effective plans next-generation amorphous silicon-based solar cells.

  3. Enhancement of photovoltaic effects and photoconductivity observed in Co-doped amorphous carbon/silicon heterostructures

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Y. C.; Gao, J.

    2016-08-22

    Co-doped amorphous carbon (Co-C)/silicon heterostructures were fabricated by growing Co-C films on n-type Si substrates using pulsed laser deposition. A photovoltaic effect (PVE) has been observed at room temperature. Open-circuit voltage V{sub oc} = 320 mV and short-circuit current density J{sub sc }= 5.62 mA/cm{sup 2} were measured under illumination of 532-nm light with the power of 100 mW/cm{sup 2}. In contrast, undoped amorphous carbon/Si heterostructures revealed no significant PVE. Based on the PVE and photoconductivity (PC) investigated at different temperatures, it was found that the energy conversion efficiency increased with increasing the temperature and reached the maximum at room temperature, while the photoconductivity showed a reverse temperature dependence. The observed competition between PVE and PC was correlated with the way to distribute absorbed photons. The possible mechanism, explaining the enhanced PVE and PC in the Co-C/Si heterostructures, might be attributed to light absorption enhanced by localized surface plasmons in Co nanoparticles embedded in the carbon matrix.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Membrane selectivity versus sensor response in hydrogenated amorphous silicon CHEMFETs using a semi-empirical model.

    PubMed

    Costa, J; Fernandes, M; Vieira, M; Lavareda, G; Karmali, A

    2011-10-01

    Toxic amides, such as acrylamide, are potentially harmful to Human health, so there is great interest in the fabrication of compact and economical devices to measure their concentration in food products and effluents. The CHEmically Modified Field Effect Transistor (CHEMFET) based on amorphous silicon technology is a candidate for this type of application due to its low fabrication cost. In this article we have used a semi-empirical model of the device to predict its performance in a solution of interfering ions. The actual semiconductor unit of the sensor was fabricated by the PECVD technique in the top gate configuration. The CHEMFET simulation was performed based on the experimental current-voltage curves of the semiconductor unit and on an empirical model of the polymeric membrane. Results presented here are useful for selection and design of CHEMFET membranes and provide an idea of the limitations of the amorphous CHEMFET device. In addition to the economical advantage, the small size of this prototype means it is appropriate for in situ operation and integration in a sensor array.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 3D micro- and nano-machining of hydrogenated amorphous silicon films on SiO2/Si and glass substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soleimani-Amiri, S.; Zanganeh, S.; Ramzani, R.; Talei, R.; Mohajerzadeh, S.; Azimi, S.; Sanaee, Z.

    2015-07-01

    We report on the hydrogen-assisted deep reactive ion etching of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films deposited using radio-frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (RF-PECVD). High aspect-ratio vertical and 3D amorphous silicon features, with the desired control over the shaping of the sidewalls, in micro and nano scales, were fabricated in ordered arrays. The suitable adhesion of amorphous Si film to the underlayer allows one to apply deep micro- and nano-machining to these layers. By means of a second deposition of amorphous silicon on highly curved 3D structures and subsequent etching, the fabrication of amorphous silicon rings is feasible. In addition to photolithography, nanosphere colloidal lithography and electron beam lithography were exploited to realize ultra-small features of amorphous silicon. We have also investigated the optical properties of fabricated hexagonally patterned a-Si nanowire arrays on glass substrates and demonstrated their high potential as active layers for solar cells. This etching process presents an inexpensive method for the formation of highly featured arrays of vertical and 3D amorphous silicon rods on both glass and silicon substrates, suitable for large-area applications.

  11. Amorphous silicon enhanced metal-insulator-semiconductor contacts for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, J.; Cuevas, A.; Yan, D.; Demaurex, B.; Hessler-Wyser, A.; De Wolf, S.

    2014-10-01

    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+ and p+ surfaces are passivated with SiO2/a-Si:H and Al2O3/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+) contacts, with SiO2 thicknesses of ˜1.55 nm, achieve the best carrier-selectivity producing a contact resistivity ρc of ˜3 mΩ cm2 and a recombination current density J0c of ˜40 fA/cm2. These characteristics are shown to be stable at temperatures up to 350 °C. The MIS(p+) 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. Technological customization of uncooled amorphous silicon microbolometer for THz real time imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pocas, S.; Deronzier, E.; Brianceau, P.; Imperinetti, P.; Dumont, G.; Roule, A.; Rabaud, W.; Meilhan, J.; Simoens, F.; Goudon, V.; Vialle, Claire; Arnaud, A.

    2013-03-01

    Terahertz uncooled antenna-coupled microbolometer focal plane arrays are being developed at CEA Leti for real time THz imaging and sensing. This detector relies on LETI amorphous silicon uncooled infrared bolometer technology that has been deeply modified to optimize sensitivity in the THz range. The main technological key lock of the pixel structure is the quarter wavelength cavity that consists in a thick dielectric layer deposited over the metalized CMOS wafer; such cavity improves significantly the optical coupling efficiency. Copper plugs connect the microbolometer level down to the CMOS readout circuit (ROIC) upper metal pads through this thick dielectric cavity. This paper explains how we have improved the copper vias technology and the challenges we have faced to customize the microbolometer while keeping a monolithically above IC technology fully compatible with standard silicon processes. The results show a very good operability and reproducibility of the contact through this thick oxide cavity. Due to these good results, we have been able to characterize a very efficient THz absorption that enables real time imaging with high sensitivity in the 1-3 THz range.

  15. Deposition of amorphous silicon using a tubular reactor with concentric-electrode confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conde, J. P.; Chan, K. K.; Blum, J. M.; Arienzo, M.; Cuomo, J. J.

    1992-04-01

    High-quality, hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is deposited at room temperature by rf glow discharge at a high deposition rate using a tubular reactor with cylindrical symmetry (concentric-electrode plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, CE-PECVD). Using the novel CE-PECVD design, room-temperature deposition of a-Si:H with growth rates up to 14 Å s-1, low hydrogen concentration (≲10%), and the bonded hydrogen in the Si-H monohydride configuration, is achieved for the first time using an rf glow-discharge technique. The influence of the deposition parameters (silane flow rate, pressure, and power density) on the growth rate, optical band gap, and silicon-hydrogen bonding configuration, is quantitatively predicted using a deposition mechanism based on the additive contribution of three growth precursors, SiH2, SiH3, and Si2H6, with decreasing sticking coefficients of 0.7, 0.1, and 0.001, respectively. The low hydrogen concentration is due to the enhanced ion bombardment resulting from the concentric electrode design.

  16. Growth of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) on patterned substrates for increased mechanical stability

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, W.S.; Nieto, J.C.D.; Ruiz, O.; Perez-Mendez, V.

    1994-12-01

    Residual stress in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) film, which causes substrate bending and delamination, is studied. The internal stress can be reduced by controlling deposition parameters, but it is known to produce a trade-off between stress and electronic quality. Selective area deposition, in which the deposition area is reduced by making islands, reduced the stress when the lateral dimension of the islands becomes comparable to the film thickness. The overall stress is reduced by approximately 40% when the lateral dimension is decreased to 40 {mu}m, but the adhesion was not improved much. However, substrates having a 2-dimensional array of inversed pyramids of 200 {mu}m in lateral dimension produced overall stress 3 {approximately} 4 times lower than that on the normal substrates. Such substrates were prepared by anisotropic etching of silicon wafers. The inversed pyramid structure also has other advantages including minimized delamination and increased effective thickness. Computer simulation confirmed that the overall stress can be reduced by deposition on the pyramidal structure.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. Investigation of polymer derived ceramics cantilevers for application of high speed atomic force microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Chia-Yun

    High speed Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has a wide variety of applications ranging from nanomanufacturing to biophysics. In order to have higher scanning speed of certain AFM modes, high resonant frequency cantilevers are needed; therefore, the goal of this research is to investigate using polymer derived ceramics for possible applications in making high resonant frequency AFM cantilevers using complex cross sections. The polymer derived ceramic that will be studied, is silicon carbide. Polymer derived ceramics offer a potentially more economic fabrication approach for MEMS due to their relatively low processing temperatures and ease of complex shape design. Photolithography was used to make the desired cantilever shapes with micron scale size followed by a wet etching process to release the cantilevers from the substrates. The whole manufacturing process we use borrow well-developed techniques from the semiconducting industry, and as such this project also could offer the opportunity to reduce the fabrication cost of AFM cantilevers and MEMS in general. The characteristics of silicon carbide made from the precursor polymer, SMP-10 (Starfire Systems), were studied. In order to produce high qualities of silicon carbide cantilevers, where the major concern is defects, proper process parameters needed to be determined. Films of polymer derived ceramics often have defects due to shrinkage during the conversion process. Thus control of defects was a central issue in this study. A second, related concern was preventing oxidation; the polymer derived ceramics we chose is easily oxidized during processing. Establishing an environment without oxygen in the whole process was a significant challenge in the project. The optimization of the parameters for using photolithography and wet etching process was the final and central goal of the project; well established techniques used in microfabrication were modified for use in making the cantilever in the project. The techniques

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. Femtosecond laser-controlled self-assembly of amorphous-crystalline nanogratings in silicon.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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].

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Irreversible lithium storage during lithiation of amorphous silicon thin film electrodes studied by in-situ neutron reflectometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jerliu, Bujar; Hüger, Erwin; Horisberger, Michael; Stahn, Jochen; Schmidt, Harald

    2017-08-01

    Amorphous silicon is a promising high-capacity anode material for application in lithium-ion batteries. However, a huge drawback of the material is that the large capacity losses taking place during cycling lead to an unstable performance. In this study we investigate the capacity losses occurring during galvanostatic lithiation of amorphous silicon thin film electrodes by in-situ neutron reflectometry experiments for the first ten cycles. As determined from the analysis of the neutron scattering length density and of the film thickness, the capacity losses are due to irreversible storage of lithium in the electrode. The amount of stored lithium increases during cycling to 20% of the maximum theoretical capacity after the 10th cycle. Possible explanations are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. High-Performance and Omnidirectional Thin-Film Amorphous Silicon Solar Cell Modules Achieved by 3D Geometry Design.

    PubMed

    Yu, Dongliang; Yin, Min; Lu, Linfeng; Zhang, Hanzhong; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Zhu, Xufei; Che, Jianfei; Li, Dongdong

    2015-11-01

    High-performance thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells are achieved by combining macroscale 3D tubular substrates and nanoscaled 3D cone-like antireflective films. The tubular geometry delivers a series of advantages for large-scale deployment of photovoltaics, such as omnidirectional performance, easier encapsulation, decreased wind resistance, and easy integration with a second device inside the glass tube. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Kinetic model for photoinduced and thermally induced creation and annihilation of metastable defects in hydrogenated amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdulhalim, I.

    1995-03-01

    A microscopic many-body model is proposed for the kinetics of metastable defects (MSDs) in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). It is based on the existence of short-lived large energy fluctuations which induce transient traps for carriers that release their energy and enhance the creation or annihilation of MSDs. The expressions found for the photoinduced and thermally induced creation and annihilation rates' coefficients explain the dependence on the variety of parameters.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.