Nanocrystalline silicon embedded in silicon suboxide synthesized in high-density inductively coupled plasma

H. P. Zhou, S. XU, M. XU, S. Q. XIAO, Y. XIANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A two-phase material system of nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) embedded in a dielectric matrix of silicon suboxide (SiOx) is fundamentally and technologically significant for the photonic and photovoltaic device such as light emission diode and solar cells. nc-Si in amorphous SiOx has been synthesized by means of the low-frequency (460 kHz) inductively coupled plasma (LFICP) of SiH4 + CO2 + H2 without the common route of high hydrogen dilution. The chemical composition, microstructures and optical properties of the complex material system are tuned by the reactive gas flow rate ratio of CO2/SiH4. nc-Si embedded in amorphous SiOx due to the phase separation are observed by means of SEM and TEM characterization tools. The crystalline volume fraction in nc-SiOx:H is determined by the density of the embedded nc-Si particles and the occurrence of the a-SiOx encapsulating shell layer. The bond configuration analysis shows the concurrent oxygenation and dehydrogenation process with the incorporation of oxygen. The underlying mechanism in forming the two-phase complex material system and the phase evolution with the reactive gas flow rate ratio are discussed in terms of the unique features of the utilized high-density LFICP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number445302
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number44
Early online date6 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • a-SiO:H
  • high-density plasma
  • nc-Si:H


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