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

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.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Research School of Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200 (Australia)
  2. PVLighthouse, Coledale, NSW 2515 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22415183
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 106; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2015 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; AMMONIA; NITROGEN; PASSIVATION; PLASMA; RECOMBINATION; REFRACTIVE INDEX; SILICON; SILICON NITRIDES; TEMPERATURE RANGE 0273-0400 K; THIN FILMS