Switching Behavior of Microcrystalline Silicon Deposited by Hot-Wire Chemical Vapor Deposition

Jian Hu, Paul Stradins, Howard M. Branz, Qi Wang, Brittany Huie, J. R. Weinberg-Wolf, E. C.T. Harley, Keda Wang, Daxing Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study current-induced changes in electrical and structural properties of a p -type microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si) films sandwiched between two metal contacts. After switching, the resistance decreases from above 1 MΩ to below 1 kΩ. The voltage-current characteristics show a saturated voltage region where irreversible changes occur gradually. In this region, transient temperature measurements show that film temperature rises considerably. The resistance of the switched state depends strongly on device area, suggesting that structural changes responsible for switching involve a large fraction of the device area. Micro-Raman studies show that film crystallinity increases during switching. This increase in crystallinity may indicate that the electrical switching process involves the formation of percolation paths through an amorphous incubation layer formed during film growth. This switching mechanism is quite different from the metallic filament formation observed in amorphous silicon switches.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number073709
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2005

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-36772


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