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Characterization of the Interface Region During the Agglomeration of Silicon Nanocrystals in Silicon Dioxide

Pi, X D, Coleman, P G, Harding, R, Davies, G and Gwilliam, R M (2004) Characterization of the Interface Region During the Agglomeration of Silicon Nanocrystals in Silicon Dioxide Journal of Applied Physics, 95 (12).


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Si nanocrystals embedded in thermally grown SiO2 have been annealed at temperatures between 400 and 900 degreesC in a variety of atmospheres. Positron annihilation spectroscopy has been employed to study changes in the interface regions between nanocrystalline Si (nc-Si) and SiO2 with the support of photoluminescence measurements. We find that nitrogen and oxygen are trapped in the voids around nc-Si at low annealing temperatures. High-temperature annealing during the formation of nc-Si causes hydrogen originally residing in the SiO2/substrate region to enter the SiO2 structure. Hydrogen diffuse back to the SiO2/substrate region on annealing in vacuum at 400 degreesC because no other impurities block its diffusion channels. At annealing temperatures above 700 degreesC, both nitrogen and oxygen react with nc-Si, resulting in a volume increase. This introduces stress in the SiO2 matrix, which is relaxed by the shrinkage of its intrinsic open volume. The present data suggest that nitrogen suppresses Si diffusion in SiO2, so that the agglomeration of nc-Si is slower during annealing in nitrogen than in oxygen or vacuum.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering > Advanced Technology Institute > Ion Beam Centre
Authors :
Pi, X D
Coleman, P G
Harding, R
Davies, G
Gwilliam, R
Date : 1 January 2004
DOI : 10.1063/1.1738539
Additional Information : Published in <i>Journal of Applied Physics,</i> Vol. 95, Iss. 12. Copyright 2004 American Institute of Physics. Click <a href= >here</a> to access the journal's website.
Depositing User : Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited : 27 May 2010 14:05
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:18

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