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Low-temperature Al-induced crystallization of amorphous Ge

By AR Zanatta and I Chambouleyron


This work reports on the low-temperature crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous germanium (a-Ge:H) films induced by aluminum. A series of aluminum-doped a-Ge:H films ([Al/Ge]similar to 10(-6)-10(-2) range) were deposited onto crystalline silicon substrates at 220 degrees C by the cosputtering technique under the same nominal conditions, except for the Al/Ge concentration. Raman scattering and infrared transmission spectroscopy were used for the structural characterization. The analysis of experimental data indicates that as-deposited Al-doped a-Ge:H films having an Al relative concentration between 1 and 2 at. % crystallize spontaneously. Aluminum contents below this range induce a partial crystallization of the films, whereas [Al/Ge]>2 at. % does not induce any crystallization. The mechanisms involved in the crystallization of these Al-doped a-Ge:H films were also investigated after thermal annealing treatments up to a temperature of 500 degrees C. Since the films are hydrogenated, the influence of hydrogen in the crystallization process was considered in detail. The ensemble of the data leads us to associate the induced crystallization with the coordination of, and the local order around, aluminum atoms in the a-Ge:H network. A microscopic mechanism behind the low-temperature crystallization is proposed. The present research indicates that both fourfold coordinated aluminum atoms and hydrogen species are fundamental in the crystallization phenomenon: the former acting as crystallization seeds, and the latter determining the dynamics of the process. (C) 2005 American Institute of Physics

Topics: Fine-structure Spectroscopy, Germanium Thin-films, Raman-scattering, Local Coordination, Silicon, Semiconductors, Nanocrystals, Hydrogen, Impurity, Contact
Publisher: Amer Inst Physics
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1063/1.1889227
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