We have found that controlled Ar ion bombardment enhances the degradation of a-Si:H based surface passivation of c-Si surfaces. The decrease in the level of surface passivation is found to be independent on the ion kinetic energy (7¿70 eV), but linearly proportional to the ion flux (6×1014¿6×1015¿ions¿cm¿2¿s¿1). This result suggests that the ion flux determines the generation rate of electron¿hole pairs in a-Si:H films, by which metastable defects are created at the H/a-Si:c-Si interface. Possible mechanisms for the ion induced generation of electron¿hole pairs are discussed.
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