Electroforming of thin film silicon based homojunction pin diode


APPLIED PHYSICS A-MATERIALS SCIENCE & PROCESSING, vol.109, no.1, pp.197-204, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The recent observations of bright visible electroluminescence (EL) from electroformed thin film silicon based wide-gap alloys are further clamped down in a simpler structure. For this purpose, a standard quality, ordinary hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) homojunction pin diode was fabricated by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The fresh diode was characterized by temperature scanned current-voltage (I-V) and constant photocurrent measurements. The energy distribution of density of states within the forbidden gap of the intrinsic a-Si:H layer was determined by space charge limited current and optical absorption spectroscopies. Then the diode was intentionally subjected to a sufficiently high, calibrated electric field leading to its Joule heating assisted rapid crystallization at ambient atmosphere. The fresh and the formed diodes exhibit different I-V and EL characteristics. The current density of the formed diode increases drastically at low voltages while remaining unchanged at high voltages when compared to that of the fresh diode. Parallelly, the room temperature EL intensity under a particular current stress is boosted with electroforming. These interesting phenomena have been discussed in the frame of a self-consistent model.