Guiding Principles for Obtaining High-Quality Microcrystalline Silicon at High Growth Rates Using SiH4/H2 Glow-Discharge Plasma

Chisato Niikura, Naho Itagaki, Akihisa Matsuda

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11 Citations (Scopus)


We present guiding principles for preparing high-quality microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) with regard to film precursors and to their reactions on film-growing surfaces, in which, apart from the temperature, the contributions of short-lifetime reactive species to film growth are the determining factors of the defect density of the resulting films. The importance of the scavenging reactions of short-lifetime species by SiH4 as well as that of their low generation rate is emphasized. The necessity of considering the coexisting annihilation reactions of atomic hydrogen, which is an essential species for μc-Si:H formation, is indicated. On the basis of these guiding principles, we propose a high-rate deposition technique using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition with a newly designed interconnected multihollow cathode. Spatially resolved optical-emission spectroscopy indicates a radical separation effect introduced by the cathode. Device-grade μc-Si:H films with low defect densities (∼5 × 1015 cm-3) are successfully deposited at rates approaching 8nm/s using this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3052-3058
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number5 A
Publication statusPublished - May 8 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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