In Situ Studies of the Microstructure of a-Si:H Surfaces and Interfaces


Using in situ ellipsometry with a 3.4 eV probe, we have characterized the initial nucleation and interface structure of a-Si:H and μc-Si deposited on oxide/c-Si substrates. Multilayered a-Si:H/a-SiNx:H structures have also been studied and non-uniformities have been modeled. In none of the reported data could we model thin film growth with thickness independent optical functions. Once a film becomes opaque, ellipsometry is very sensitive to changes in the thickness of surface roughness layers. As a result, roughness on single and multilayered a-Si:H films has been studied as well as the renucleation that results from stopping and then restarting the a-Si:H growth plasma.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. [1]

    F. Hottier and J.B. Theeten, J. of Crystal Growth, 48, 644 (1980).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    B. Drevillon, Thin Solid Films 130, 165 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. [3]

    For a review of EMA’s see: D.E. Aspnes, Thin Solid Films 89, 249 (1982).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. [4]

    For a recent series of articles on multilayers see: Proc. 11 Int. Conf. on Amorphous and Liquid Semiconductors, published as J. Non-Cryst. Solids 77&78, 1031–1104 (1985).

  5. [5]

    R.W. Collins, in Proc. of the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), Los Angeles CA, (in press, 1986).

  6. [6]

    D.E. Aspnes, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 64, 812 (1975).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. [7]

    R.W. Collins and A. Pawlowski, J. Appl. Phys. 59, 1160 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. [8]

    H. Ugur, R. Johanson, and H. Fritzsche, in Tetrahedrally-Bonded Amorphous Semiconductors, eds. D. Adler and H. Fritzsche, (Plenum, 1985) p. 431.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. W. Collins.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Collins, R.W. In Situ Studies of the Microstructure of a-Si:H Surfaces and Interfaces. MRS Online Proceedings Library 70, 361–366 (1986).

Download citation