Neutron and X-ray diffraction techniques have been applied to the study of two samples of a-Si:C:H. Both samples were prepared using conventional glow discharge methods, but the hydrocarbon/silane precursor gas was diluted with hydrogen in one case. Analysis of the X-ray diffraction data gives a clear picture of the silicon network, since the scattering profile is dominated by the Si-Si correlations. The high real-space resolution neutron diffraction data, however allows one to comment on the effect of this dilution on the silicon-carbon bonding morphology, and in particular on the degree to which the additional hydrogen enhances hetero-coordination. In addition we present the results of a preliminary computer simulation study of the structure of a-C:H and a-Si:H using an approximate molecular dynamic density functional theory, and discuss its viability in the study of the more complex a-Si:C:H ternary alloy.
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We thank Drs. A. Fitzgerald, C. Jeynes and R Sokhi for their help in the difficult task of chemical analysis. We also acknowledge the funding support of the Science and Engineering Research Council, the British Council and the Deutscher Akademisher Austauschdienst.
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Burke, T.M., Honeybone, P.J.R., Huxley, D.W. et al. The Structure of Amorphous Hydrogenated Silicon:Carbon Alloys Using X-Ray and Neutron Scattering and Computer Simulation - The Effect of Hydrogen Dilution. MRS Online Proceedings Library 270, 97–102 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-270-97