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Title: On the structural-optical properties of Al-containing amorphous Si thin films and the metal-induced crystallization phenomenon

Amorphous (a-)Si-based materials always attracted attention of the scientific community, especially after their use in commercial devices like solar cells and thin film transistors in the 1980s. In addition to their technological importance, the study of a-Si-based materials also present some interesting theoretical-practical challenges. Their crystallization as induced by metal species is one example, which is expected to influence the development of electronic-photovoltaic devices. In fact, the amorphous-to-crystalline transformation of the a-SiAl system has been successfully applied to produce solar cells suggesting that further improvements can be achieved. Stimulated by these facts, this work presents a comprehensive study of the a-SiAl system. The samples, with Al contents in the ∼0−15 at. % range, were made in the form of thin films and were characterized by different spectroscopic techniques. The experimental results indicated that: (a) increasing amounts of Al changed both the atomic structure and the optical properties of the samples; (b) thermal annealing induced the crystallization of the samples at temperatures that depend on the Al concentration; and (c) the crystallization process was also influenced by the annealing duration and the structural disorder of the samples. All of these aspects were addressed in view of the existing models of themore » a-Si crystallization, which were also discussed to some extent. Finally, the ensemble of experimental results suggest an alternative method to produce cost-effective crystalline Si films with tunable structural-optical properties.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo, São Carlos, SP 13566-590 (Brazil)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22314294
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 7; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ANNEALING; CONCENTRATION RATIO; CRYSTALLIZATION; MATERIALS; METALS; OPTICAL PROPERTIES; PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT; SOLAR CELLS; THIN FILMS; TRANSISTORS