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Minority carrier properties of microcrystalline silicon thin films grown by HW-CVD and VHF-PECVD techniques
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Opto-electronic properties of μc-Si:H films prepared by hot-wire/catalytic chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) and very high frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (VHF-PECVD) techniques with various silane concentrations (SC) have been investigated using Raman spectroscopy, the steady-state photocarrier grating technique (SSPG), and the steady-state photoconductivity (SSPC). A correlation between the minority carrier transport properties and the microstructure has been found, using the dependence of the diffusion length (Ld) on the SC and Raman intensity ratio (I c RS) representing crystalline volume fractions. I C RS changes from 0.22 to 0.77. Ld increases with increasing Ic RS. It peaks around 0.5 with a maximum value of 270 nm, then decreases. Similar dependences of Ld on I C RS were obtained for films prepared by both HWCVD and VHF-PECVD. However, the grating quality factor measured on highly crystalline HWCVD films is substantially smaller than that found for VHF-PECVD films, indicating a relatively higher surface roughness present in the highly crystalline HWCVD films.