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Title: In-situ high resolution transmission electron microscopy observation of silicon nanocrystal nucleation in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix

Abstract

Solid-state nucleation of Si nanocrystals in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix was observed at temperatures as low as 450 °C. This was achieved by aberration corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) with real-time in-situ heating up to 600 °C. This technique is a valuable characterization tool especially with the recent interest in Si nanostructures for light emitting devices, non-volatile memories, and third-generation photovoltaics which all typically require a heating step in their fabrication. The control of size, shape, and distribution of the Si nanocrystals are critical for these applications. This experimental study involves in-situ observation of the nucleation of Si nanocrystals in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix fabricated through radio frequency co-sputtering. The results show that the shapes of Si nanocrystals in amorphous SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrices are irregular and not spherical, in contrast to many claims in the literature. Furthermore, the Si nanocrystals are well confined within their layers by the amorphous SiO{sub 2}. This study demonstrates the potential of in-situ HRTEM as a tool to observe the real time nucleation of Si nanocrystals in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix. Furthermore, ideas for improvements on this in-situ heating HRTEM technique are discussed.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2]
  1. School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052 (Australia)
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Technion City, Haifa 32000 (Israel)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22314512
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; LAYERS; NANOSTRUCTURES; NUCLEATION; RADIOWAVE RADIATION; SILICON OXIDES; TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY

Citation Formats

Yang, T. C.-J., E-mail: terry.yang@unsw.edu.au, Wu, L., Lin, Z., Jia, X., Puthen-Veettil, B., Zhang, T., Conibeer, G., Perez-Wurfl, I., Kauffmann, Y., and Rothschild, A. In-situ high resolution transmission electron microscopy observation of silicon nanocrystal nucleation in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4892658.
Yang, T. C.-J., E-mail: terry.yang@unsw.edu.au, Wu, L., Lin, Z., Jia, X., Puthen-Veettil, B., Zhang, T., Conibeer, G., Perez-Wurfl, I., Kauffmann, Y., & Rothschild, A. In-situ high resolution transmission electron microscopy observation of silicon nanocrystal nucleation in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4892658.
Yang, T. C.-J., E-mail: terry.yang@unsw.edu.au, Wu, L., Lin, Z., Jia, X., Puthen-Veettil, B., Zhang, T., Conibeer, G., Perez-Wurfl, I., Kauffmann, Y., and Rothschild, A. Mon . "In-situ high resolution transmission electron microscopy observation of silicon nanocrystal nucleation in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4892658.
@article{osti_22314512,
title = {In-situ high resolution transmission electron microscopy observation of silicon nanocrystal nucleation in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix},
author = {Yang, T. C.-J., E-mail: terry.yang@unsw.edu.au and Wu, L. and Lin, Z. and Jia, X. and Puthen-Veettil, B. and Zhang, T. and Conibeer, G. and Perez-Wurfl, I. and Kauffmann, Y. and Rothschild, A.},
abstractNote = {Solid-state nucleation of Si nanocrystals in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix was observed at temperatures as low as 450 °C. This was achieved by aberration corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) with real-time in-situ heating up to 600 °C. This technique is a valuable characterization tool especially with the recent interest in Si nanostructures for light emitting devices, non-volatile memories, and third-generation photovoltaics which all typically require a heating step in their fabrication. The control of size, shape, and distribution of the Si nanocrystals are critical for these applications. This experimental study involves in-situ observation of the nucleation of Si nanocrystals in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix fabricated through radio frequency co-sputtering. The results show that the shapes of Si nanocrystals in amorphous SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrices are irregular and not spherical, in contrast to many claims in the literature. Furthermore, the Si nanocrystals are well confined within their layers by the amorphous SiO{sub 2}. This study demonstrates the potential of in-situ HRTEM as a tool to observe the real time nucleation of Si nanocrystals in a SiO{sub 2} bilayered matrix. Furthermore, ideas for improvements on this in-situ heating HRTEM technique are discussed.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4892658},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 5,
volume = 105,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Aug 04 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Mon Aug 04 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}