Effects of Hydrogen on the Growth of Nanocrystalline Silicon Films by Electron-Beam Excited Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition

Mitsuru Imaizumi, Koji Yamaguchi, Kazuhiko Okitsu, Masafumi Yamaguchi, Tamio Hara, Tadashi Ito, Ichiro Konomi, Kim M. Jones, Mowafak M. Al-Jassim

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It has been shown that nanocrystalline silicon films can be grown from silane gas without hydrogen dilution by electron-beam excited plasma chemical vapor deposition (EBEP-CVD). A high density of atomic hydrogen, which is derived from the dissociation of silane molecule, is confirmed in the plasma by optical emission spectroscopy. This fact is thought to be a reason for the growth of nanocrystalline silicon films without the introduction of hydrogen gas. Transmission electron spectroscopy reveals that crystallites are not distributed uniformly, but rather form the mosaic-like clusters in an amorphous silicon matrix in the film. Hydrogen gas is introduced into the EBEP-CVD silicon film growth so as to study the effects of the hydrogen gas. The growth rate increases proportionally to the hydrogen flow rate, and it is about 2.5 times greater than when no hydrogen gas is introduced. Also, a decrease in both the hydrogen content and the density of dangling bonds in the film is confirmed. These results imply that the generation of dangling bonds is suppressed by the introduction of hydrogen. The rate constants of dissociation reaction of silane molecules in the EBEP are estimated, and the change in density of radicals in the plasma by introducing hydrogen gas is calculated. A growth model is proposed that assumes the sticking coefficient of SiH3 precursor radical increases in proportion to atomic hydrogen flux. Using the calculation results and the model, the effects are explained to be due to an increase in the contribution ratio of SiH3 radicals to the growth, on account of the increase in the introduced hydrogen gas flow rate.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6848-6855
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-27779


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