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Nanotechnology. 2009 Jun 17;20(24):245604. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/20/24/245604. Epub 2009 May 27.

Polymorphous silicon thin films obtained by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition using dichlorosilane as silicon precursor.

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Instituto de Investigaciones en Materiales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, AP 70-360, Coyoacán, CP 04510, DF, Mexico.


Polymorphous silicon thin films (pm-Si) have been deposited from mixtures of dichlorosilane and hydrogen, using argon as the diluting gas by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The deposition conditions were chosen to simultaneously obtain both Si nanocrystallites and an amorphous silicon matrix in the as-grown samples. High resolution transmission electron microscopy studies show the crystallinity of Si domains whose dimensions are in the interval of 2-14 nm. The surface passivation state of the silicon nanocrystals was inferred from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis. Two optical absorption edges, corresponding to the amorphous matrix and the Si nanocrystals, were observed for all the pm-Si thin films. Intense visible photoluminescence was observed for the as-grown samples. The possibility of using these thin films for the down-conversion effect in silicon solar cells is discussed.

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