Spectroscopic ellipsometry for the characterization of the morphology of ultra-thin thermal CVD amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon thin films

S. Hazra, M. Yamanaka, I. Sakata, T. Tsutsumi, T. Maeda, H. Taguchi, E. Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


Ultra-thin hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films have been deposited by thermal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to prepare smooth top surface of the films avoiding the ion bombardment. Rapid thermal oxidation of thermal CVD a-Si:H results in nanocrystalline dots in the ultra-thin silicon films. Spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) have been used to investigate the optical and structural properties of both ultra-thin a-Si:H and nanocrystalline silicon films. To analyze the ellipsometric data of ultra-thin a-Si:H films, a new parameterization i.e., the combination of Sellmeier law and four Lorentz peaks, has been successfully introduced. Width of the Lorentz peaks are directly related with the change of optical functions with the thickness of a-Si:H films. It has been certified that the dense Si matrix with smaller degree of disorder is formed when the thickness exceeds 8nm and the films with the thickness of less than 3.8 nm becomes voided. To interpret the ellipsometric data for nanocrystalline silicon films, three layer model (SiO2, poly-Si+a-Si+void and SiO2) has been adapted. It is inferred from SE and TEM analyses that the size and the density of nanocrystalline dots can be controlled by the morphology of initial ultra-thin a-Si:H films and RTO conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A2431-A2436
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
EventAmorphous and Heterogeneus Silicon Thin Films-2000 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 24 Apr 200028 Apr 2000

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