Importance of argon pressure in the preparation of rf-sputtered amorphous silicon–hydrogen alloys Journal Article uri icon



  • We report the influence of argon partial pressure pAr on the photoconductivity, four-probe conductivity and photoluminescence of rf-sputtered a-Si–H alloys. As pAr is increased from 5 to 30 mTorr, for fixed hydrogen partial pressure pH, photoconductivity increases by as much as three orders of magnitude and then saturates. Over this range the dark conductivity activation energy decreases, a plot of log conductivity versus inverse temperature becomes increasingly less linear and the photoluminescence intensity increases slightly and then drops back. We note that high pAr films become slowly contaminated upon exposure to air. These results are interpreted in terms of a reduction in energetic silicon atom bombardment of the growing film with increased pAr. For our sputtering arrangement, we show that silicon atoms ejected from the target become significantly more thermalized at pAr=10 mTorr than at 5 mTorr. Based primarily on the fact that the conductivity activation energy is more strongly dependent on pH for low pAr films, we develop a model which suggests that higher argon pressures reduce damage-related deep gap states exposing low density structure in the electronic density of states.

publication date

  • May 1, 1979

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • April 11, 2014 10:40 AM

Full Author List

  • Anderson DA; Moddel G; Paesler MA; Paul W

author count

  • 4

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-5355

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 906

end page

  • 912


  • 16


  • 3