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Surface Smoothening Mechanism of Amorphous Silicon Thin Films
Physical Review Letters (2005)
  • Dimitrios Maroudas, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • E. S Aydil
  • T Bakos
  • M. S Valipa

An important concern in the deposition of thin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si∶H) films is to obtain smooth surfaces. Herein, we combine molecular-dynamics simulations with first-principles density functional theory calculations to elucidate the smoothening mechanism of plasma deposited a-Si∶H thin films. We show that the deposition precursor may diffuse rapidly on the a-Si∶H film surface via overcoordinated surface Si atoms and incorporate into the film preferentially in surface valleys, with activation barriers for incorporation dependent on the local surface morphology. Experimental data on smoothening and precursor diffusion are accounted for.

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Doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.216102 Copyright 2005 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.
Citation Information
Dimitrios Maroudas, E. S Aydil, T Bakos and M. S Valipa. "Surface Smoothening Mechanism of Amorphous Silicon Thin Films" Physical Review Letters Vol. 95 Iss. 21 (2005)
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