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Crystallized silicon nanostructures - experimental characterization and atomistic simulations

TitleCrystallized silicon nanostructures - experimental characterization and atomistic simulations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAgbo, S, Sutta, P, Calta, P, Biswas, R, Pan, BC
JournalCanadian Journal of Physics
Date Published07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0008-4204
Accession NumberWOS:000339379500051
Keywordshydrogen, nanocrystalline silicon, structural-properties, superlattices

We have synthesized silicon nanocrystalline structures from thermal annealing of thin film amorphous silicon-based multilayers. The annealing procedure that was carried out in vacuum at temperatures up to 1100 degrees C is integrated in a X-ray diffraction (XRD) setup for real-time monitoring of the formation phases of the nanostructures. The microstructure of the crystallized films is investigated through experimental measurements combined with atomistic simulations of realistic nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) models. The multilayers consisting of uniformly alternating thicknesses of hydrogenated amorphous silicon and silicon oxide (SiO2) were deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition on crystalline silicon and Corning glass substrates. The crystallized structure consisting of nc-Si structures embedded in an amorphous matrix were further characterized through XRD, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared measurements. We are able to show the different stages of nanostructure formation and how the sizes and the crystallized mass fraction can be controlled in our experimental synthesis. The crystallized silicon structures with large crystalline filling fractions exceeding 50% have been simulated with a robust classical molecular dynamics technique. The crystalline filling fractions and structural order of nc-Si obtained from this simulation are compared with our Raman and XRD measurements.

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