Comparative Investigation of Structural and Optical Properties of Si-Rich Oxide Films Fabricated by Magnetron Sputtering
RF magnetron sputtering of two separate silicon and oxide (SiO2 or Al2O3) targets in pure argon plasma was used for deposition of Six(SiO2)1-x and Six(Al2O3)1-x films with x=0.15-0.7 on long fused quarts substrate. The effect of post-fabrication treatments on structural and light emitting properties of the films with different x values was investigated by means of Raman scattering, electron paramagnetic resonance and X-ray diffraction as well as by photoluminescence (PL) methods. The formation of amorphous Si clusters upon deposition process was found for the both types of films. The annealing treatment at 1150°C during 30 min results in formation of Si nanocrystallites (Si-ncs). The latter were found to be larger in Six(Al2O3)1-x films than that in Six(SiO2)1-x counterparts with the same x values and are under tensile stresses. The investigation of photoluminescence properties of annealed films of both types revealed the appearance of visible-near infrared light emission. The Six(SiO2)1-x films demonstrated one broad PL band which peak position shifts gradually to from 1.4 eV to 1.8 eV with the x decrease. Contrary to this, for the Six(Al2O3)1-x films two overlapped PL bands were observed in the 1.4-2.4 eV spectral range with peak positions at ~2.1 eV and ~1.7 eV accompanied by near-infrared tail. Comparative analysis of PL spectra of both types samples showed that the main contribution to PL spectra of Six(SiO2)1-x films is given by exciton recombination in the Si-ncs whereas PL emission of Six(Al2O3)1-x films is caused mainly by carrier recombination either via defects in matrix or via electron states at the Si-ncs/matrix interface.
Alexei N. Nazarov, Volodymyr S. Lysenko and Denis Flandre
L. Khomenkova et al., "Comparative Investigation of Structural and Optical Properties of Si-Rich Oxide Films Fabricated by Magnetron Sputtering", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 854, pp. 117-124, 2014