Temperature dependence of the surface roughness evolution during hydrogenated amorphous silicon film growth

Smets, A. H. M.; Kessels, W. M. M.; van de Sanden, M. C. M.
February 2003
Applied Physics Letters;2/10/2003, Vol. 82 Issue 6, p865
Academic Journal
The scaling behavior of the surface morphology of hydrogenated amorphous silicon deposited from a SiH[sub 3] dominated plasma has been studied using atomic force microscopy and in situ ellipsometry. The observed substrate temperature dependence of growth exponent β reflects a crossover behavior from random deposition at 100 °C to a surface diffusion controlled smoothening around 250 °C to full surface relaxation around 500 ° C. This crossover behavior has been reproduced by Monte Carlo simulations assuming a site dependent surface diffusion process, revealing an activation energy of ∼ 1.0 eV for the ruling surface smoothening mechanism. The implications for a-Si:H growth are discussed.


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