Title: Indentation-induced crystallisation in amorphous silicon thin films

Authors: Z.W. Xu, A.H.W. Ngan

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, PR China. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, PR China

Abstract: Three amorphous silicon films with different ordering were deposited by magnetron sputtering at 300 K, 673 K and 873 K, respectively. Vickers indentations were made on the samples by loads of 9.8 N, 4.9 N and 0.49 N. Si-I phase was present in the indentations at 9.8 N on the film deposited at 300 K, but evidence for crystallisation into Si-I was less obvious at lower loads at 300 K, or in other films deposited at higher temperatures. The formation of the Si-I phase was probably due to delamination fracture. An increase in the disordering degree induced by indentation was also found in the film deposited at 873 K.

Keywords: deformation; fracture; amorphous silicon; indentation; phase transformation; electron microscopy; Raman spectroscopy; thin films; Vickers indentations; crystallisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSURFSE.2007.015031

International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering, 2007 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.308 - 321

Published online: 05 Sep 2007 *

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