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Structural, optical and electrical properties of silicon nanocrystals embedded in SixC1-x/SiC multilayer systems for photovoltaic applications
: López-Vidrier, J.; Hernández, S.; Samà, J.; Canino, M.; Allegrezza, M.; Bellettato, M.; Shukla, R.; Schnabel, M.; Löper, P.; López-Conesa, L.; Estradé, S.; Peiró, F.; Janz, S.; Garrido, B.
In this work we present a structural, optical and electrical characterization of SixC1-x/SiC multilayer systems with different silicon content. After the deposition process, an annealing treatment was carried out in order to induce the silicon nanocrystals formation. By means of energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) we observed the structural morphology of the multilayers and the presence of crystallized silicon nanoprecipitates for samples annealed up to 1100 °C. We discuss the suitability of optical techniques such as Raman scattering and reflectance and transmittance (R&T) for the evaluation of the crystalline fraction of our samples at different silicon excess ranges. In addition, the combination of R&T measurements with simulation has proved to be a useful instrument to confirm the structural properties observed by EFTEM. Finally, we explore the origin of the extremely high current density revealed by electrical measurements, probably due to the presence of an undesired defective SiC yOz ternary compound layer, already supported by the structural and optical results. Nevertheless, the variation of the electrical measurements with the silicon amount indicates a small but significant contribution from the multilayers.