A New Perspective on an Old Problem: The Staebler-Wronski Effect

Abstract

Photo-induced structural changes and defect creation are common phenomena in a large variety of polymeric and non-crystalline semiconductors. The photo-induced degradation of a-Si:H and its alloys, discovered by Staebler and Wronski in 1977, belongs to a special category with quite unique features, which so far has resisted an explanation. Part of the problem is that the near 4-fold coordinated network does not naturally form an amorphous material. It is over-constrained and forms a stress relief void structure. While reviewing the experimental evidence it will be argued that some of our commonly held views regarding the underlying mechanisms of the Staebler-Wronski effect (SWE) may have to be abandoned. First, the internal void surfaces seem to be the principal locations of the photo-structural changes. Second, non-radiative bimolecular recombinations of photo carriers do not seem to be the driving force of defect creation at helium temperatures. Alternative pathways for the photo-induced processes will be suggested.

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Correspondence to Hellmut Fritzsche.

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Fritzsche, H. A New Perspective on an Old Problem: The Staebler-Wronski Effect. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1245, 1401 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-1245-A14-01

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