High deposition rate nanocrystalline and amorphous silicon thin film production via surface wave plasma source

Jason A. Peck, Piyum Zonooz, Davide Curreli, Gianluca A. Panici, Brian E. Jurczyk, David N Ruzic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A 900 MHz surface wave antenna was used for plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of silicon thin films in an H2 + SiH4 discharge, with an emphasis on photovoltaic applications. Gas mixtures of 0.7–10% SiH4 at medium pressure (~ 100 mTorr) were tested with an optimal substrate temperature of 285 ± 15 °C, producing nanocrystalline hydrogenated silicon (nc-Si:H) at rates up to 3 nm/s, while amorphous films were grown in excess of 10 nm/s. A sharp transition from crystalline to amorphous growth was seen as SiH4 flowrate increased, as is characteristic of silane PECVD. Increasing both substrate temperature and source power served to move this transition to higher flowrates, and by extension, higher deposition rates for the crystalline phase. Grain size also increased with substrate temperature, ranging from 10 ± 2 nm at 200 °C up to 15 ± 3 nm at 400 °C. Electron spin resonance showed that a-Si:H films grown via SWP were of acceptable defect density (~ 1016 cm− 3) and conductivity (~ 10− 8 S/cm). Conversely, nc-Si:H films were poor quality (~ 1018 cm− 3 defect density, 10− 3–10− 2 S/cm conductivity) due to low hydrogenation and small grain size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Volume325
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 25 2017

Keywords

  • Heterojunction
  • Nanocrystalline silicon
  • PECVD
  • Photovoltaics
  • Surface wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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