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10 October 2012 Double-pulsed PECVD synthesis of hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon thin films
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Our efforts focus on developing a method to produce hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) with larger crystallites to enhance carrier transport properties. A new PECVD methodology, called double pulsed PECVD (DPPECVD), employs alternating low frequency and high frequency discharge sub-cycles to sequentially grow and etch the evolving film, respectively. This confers enhanced process control compared to conventional methods, and provides a pathway to achieve our goal of enhanced carrier mobility. Preliminary results demonstrate nc-Si:H films possessing grains as large as 29 nm, with (220) preferred orientation, which is suitable for solar cell applications. Reactions between plasma species in a SiF4:H2:SiH4 glow discharge, which expectedly contribute to evolution of large grains, are also discussed. Our findings suggest the double pulse strategy is a valuable method for manipulating the microstructural evolution of PECVD grown thin film materials.
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J. D. Fields, J. B. Gallon, J. Hu, Ed Valentich, P. C. Taylor, and A. Madan "Double-pulsed PECVD synthesis of hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon thin films", Proc. SPIE 8470, Thin Film Solar Technology IV, 847007 (10 October 2012);

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