Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Farid, N;Brunton, A;Rumsby, P;Monaghan, S;Duffy, R;Hurley, P;Wang, MQ;Choy, KL;O'Connor, GM
Acs Applied Materials & Interfaces
Femtosecond Laser-Induced Crystallization of Amorphous Silicon Thin Films under a Thin Molybdenum Layer
WOS: 5 ()
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A new process to crystallize amorphous silicon without melting and the generation of excessive heating of nearby components is presented. We propose the addition of a molybdenum layer to improve the quality of the laser-induced crystallization over that achieved by direct irradiation of silicon alone. The advantages are that it allows the control of crystallite size by varying the applied fluence of a near-infrared femtosecond laser. It offers two fluence regimes for nanocrystallization and polycrystallization with small and large crystallite sizes, respectively. The high repetition rate of the compact femtosecond laser source enables high-quality crystallization over large areas. In this proposed method, a multilayer structure is irradiated with a single femtosecond laser pulse. The multilayer structure includes a substrate, a target amorphous Si layer coated with an additional molybdenum thin film. The Si layer is crystallized by irradiating the Mo layer at different fluence regimes. The transfer of energy from the irradiated Mo layer to the Si film causes the crystallization of amorphous Si at low temperatures (similar to 700 K). Numerical simulations were carried out to estimate the electron and lattice temperatures for different fluence regimes using a two-temperature model. The roles of direct phonon transport and inelastic electron scattering at the Mo-Si interface were considered in the transfer of energy from the Mo to the Si film. The simulations confirm the experimental evidence that amorphous Si was crystallized in an all-solid-state process at temperatures lower than the melting point of Si, which is consistent with the results from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Raman. The formation of crystallized Si with controlled crystallite size after laser treatment can lead to longer mean free paths for carriers and increased electrical conductivity.
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