Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering Studies of Microvoids in a-SiC:H and a-Si:H

A. H. Mahan, D. L. Williamson, B. P. Nelson, R. S. Crandall

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Small microvoids with a radius of gyration between 3.3 and 4.8 Å are found by the small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) technique to exist in both glow discharge a-Si1-xCx:H (0 < x < 0.3) and a-Si:H (40 °C < Ts < 250 °C) films. Included in these results are the first observation of microvoids, as detected by SAXS, in device-quality a-Si:H. The volume fraction of microvoids is found to increase from about 0.01 in device-quality a-Si:H to 0.29 for a-SiC:H (x = 0.30) and in a-Si:H to 0.20 for Ts = 40 °C. Tilting experiments indicate that the microvoids are non-oriented (or spherical) in a-SiC:H and are oriented (columnar) in non-device-quality a-Si:H. Results of other measurements made on identically prepared material are included, and the possible origins of these microvoids, the nature of the microvoid surfaces, and how microvoids affect material quality are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)465-476
Number of pages12
JournalSolar Cells
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1989

NREL Publication Number

  • ACNR/JA-212-11577


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