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Highly stable amorphous silicon hydride

Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0927-0248(03)00107-7


Abstract A novel highly stable hydrogen terminated silicon coating was synthesized by microwave plasma reaction of mixture of silane, hydrogen, and helium wherein it is proposed that He + served as a catalyst with atomic hydrogen to form highly stable silicon hydrides. Novel silicon hydride was identified by time of flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The ToF-SIMS identified the coatings as hydride by the large SiH + peak in the positive spectrum and the dominant H − in the negative spectrum. Since hydrogen is the only element with no primary element peaks, XPS identified the H content of the SiH coatings as comprising novel silicon hydrides due to new peaks at 11, 43, and 55 eV in the absence of corresponding peaks of any candidate element at higher binding energies. The silicon hydride surface was remarkably stable to air as shown by XPS. The highly stable amorphous silicon hydride coating may advance the production of integrated circuits and microdevices by resisting the oxygen passivation of the surface and possibly altering the dielectric constant and band gap to increase device performance.

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