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

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