Comparative Study on the Quality of Microcrystalline and Epitaxial Silicon Films Produced by PECVD Using Identical SiF4 Based Process Conditions




Moreno, Mario
Ponce, Arturo
Galindo, Arturo
Ortega, Eduardo
Morales, Alfredo
Flores, Javier
Ambrosio, Roberto
Torres, Alfonso
Hernandez, Luis
Vazquez-Leal, Hector

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Hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon (µc-Si:H) and epitaxial silicon (epi-Si) films have been produced from SiF4, H2 and Ar mixtures by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) at 200 ◦C. Here, both films were produced using identical deposition conditions, to determine if the conditions for producing µc-Si with the largest crystalline fraction (XC), will also result in epi-Si films that encompass the best quality and largest crystalline silicon (c-Si) fraction. Both characteristics are of importance for the development of thin film transistors (TFTs), thin film solar cells and novel 3D devices since epi-Si films can be grown or etched in a selective manner. Therefore, we have distinguished that the H2/SiF4 ratio affects the XC of µc-Si, the c-Si fraction in epi-Si films, and the structure of the epi-Si/c-Si interface. Raman and UV-Vis ellipsometry were used to evaluate the crystalline volume fraction (Xc) and composition of the deposited layers, while the structure of the films were inspected by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Notably, the conditions for producing µc-Si with the largest XC are different in comparison to the fabrication conditions of epi-Si films with the best quality and largest c-Si fraction.



microcrystalline silicon, epitaxial growth, plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, electron microscopy


Materials 14 (22): 6947 (2021)


Physics and Astronomy