The defect density in amorphous silicon

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The correlation between the density of dangling-bond defects and the slope of the Urbach tail in hydrogenated amorphous silicon is examined. It is shown that this correlation can be explained quantitatively by a spontaneous decay of the weakest bonding orbitals into non-bonding defects during deposition or annealing of a sample and that the same correlation holds for all types of disorder affecting the slope of the Urbach edge. The temperature dependence of the defect density as well as the creation of metastable defects are discussed, and quantitative expressions are derived which can be used to estimate the quality and the stability of a given sample on the basis of the slope of its Urbach tail alone. Possible ways for future improvement of the material are indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-546
Number of pages16
JournalPhilosophical Magazine B: Physics of Condensed Matter; Statistical Mechanics, Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes


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