Capacitance Studies of Metastable Defect Creation in Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon


We have studied the light induced instability problem in hydrogenated amorphous silicon using junction capacitance techniques. These techniques are used to examine specific changes in the density of gap states, and occupation of gap states, for undoped a-Si:H samples after light saturation and for a series of partial anneal “states” which culminate in the original dark annealed state (state A). We find that the observed changes in the metastable occupied and unoccupied defects contradict the Si-Si bond breaking model and indicate at least two defect creation processes. In several samples we also find clear evidence that the metastable defect distribution near midgap has a slightly different energy distribution than the stable deep state (dangling bond) distribution. At the same time, these results seem to be qualitatively consistent with many aspects of recent ESR and optical absorption studies of metastable defect creation. We discuss these findings in terms of alternative possible microscopic models for metastable effects in a-Si:H.

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Correspondence to J. D. Cohen.

Additional information

We gratefully acknowledge useful discussions with J. Robertson and M. Stutzmann. Work at the University of Oregon was supported in part by Solar Energy Research Institute subcontract XB-4-03101-1.

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Cohen, J.D., Mahavadi, K., Zellama, K. et al. Capacitance Studies of Metastable Defect Creation in Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon. MRS Online Proceedings Library 70, 213–224 (1986).

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