Si quantum dots embedded in an amorphous SiC matrix : nanophase control by non-equilibrium plasma hydrogenation

Cheng, Qijin, Tam, Eugene, Xu, Shuyan, & Ostrikov, Kostya (2010) Si quantum dots embedded in an amorphous SiC matrix : nanophase control by non-equilibrium plasma hydrogenation. Nanoscale, 2(4), pp. 594-600.

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Nanophase nc-Si/a-SiC films that contain Si quantum dots (QDs) embedded in an amorphous SiC matrix were deposited on single-crystal silicon substrates using inductively coupled plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition from the reactive silane and methane precursor gases diluted with hydrogen at a substrate temperature of 200 °C. The effect of the hydrogen dilution ratio X (X is defined as the flow rate ratio of hydrogen-to-silane plus methane gases), ranging from 0 to 10.0, on the morphological, structural, and compositional properties of the deposited films, is extensively and systematically studied by scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared absorption spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Effective nanophase segregation at a low hydrogen dilution ratio of 4.0 leads to the formation of highly uniform Si QDs embedded in the amorphous SiC matrix. It is also shown that with the increase of X, the crystallinity degree and the crystallite size increase while the carbon content and the growth rate decrease. The obtained experimental results are explained in terms of the effect of hydrogen dilution on the nucleation and growth processes of the Si QDs in the high-density plasmas. These results are highly relevant to the development of next-generation photovoltaic solar cells, light-emitting diodes, thin-film transistors, and other applications.

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ID Code: 73781
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1039/b9nr00371a
ISSN: 2040-3364
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Royal Society of Chemistry
Deposited On: 10 Jul 2014 05:39
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 23:41

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