Chemical Bonding and Defect States of LPCVD Grown Silicon-Rich Si₃N₄ for Quantum Dot Applications
Nimmo, Michael T.
Malko, Anton V.
Hinkle, Christopher L.
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Si-rich Si₃N₄ (SRN) thin films were investigated to understand the various defect states present within the SRN that can lead to reduced performance in quantum dot based devices made of these materials. The SRN films, deposited by low pressure chemical vapor deposition followed by furnace anneals over a range of temperatures, were determined to be comprised of two distinct phase separated SRN regions with different compositions (precipitates within a host matrix). Photoluminescence (PL) spectra showed multiple peaks convoluted together within the visible and near-visible range. Depending on deposition and annealing conditions, the films displayed changes in PL peak intensities which were correlated with chemical bonding utilizing x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, and capacitance-voltage measurements. It is found that the PL originates from defect-state to defect-state and band edge to defect-state electronic transitions.