High temperature post-deposition annealing studies were done on hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) using the layer-by-layer (LBL) deposition technique. The films were annealed at temperatures of 400 °C, 600 °C, 800 °C and 1000 °C in ambient nitrogen for one hour. Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) depth profiling results showed that high concentration of O atoms were present at the substrate/film interface and at film surface. Very low concentration of O atoms was present separating silicon layers at regular intervals from the film surface and the substrate due to the nature of the LBL deposition and these silicon oxide layers were stable to high annealing temperature. Reflectance spectroscopy measurements showed that the onset of transformation from amorphous to crystalline phase in the LBL a-Si:H film structure started when annealed at temperature of 600 °C but the X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman scattering spectroscopy showed that this transition only started at 800 °C. The films were polycrystalline with very small grains when annealed at 800 °C and 1000 °C. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), measurements showed that hydrogen was completely evolved from the film at the on-set of crystallization when annealed at 800 °C. The edge of the reflectance fringes shifted to longer wavelength decrease in hydrogen content but shifted to shorter wavelength with increase in crystallinity.
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Tong, G.B., Meriam Ab. Gani, S., Muhamad, M.R. et al. High Temperature Post-Deposition Annealing Studies of Layer-by-layer (LBL) Deposited Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Films. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1153, 501 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-1153-A05-01