Light-induced metastability in pure and hydrogenated amorphous silicon

D. R. Queen, X. Liu, J. Karel, Q. Wang, R.S. Crandall, T.H. Metcalf, F. Hellman

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Light soaking is found to increase the specific heat C and internal friction Q −1 of pure (a-Si) and hydrogenated (a-Si:H) amorphous silicon. At the lowest temperatures, the increases in C and Q −1  are consistent with an increased density of two-level systems (TLS). The light-induced increase in C persists to room temperature. Neither the sound velocity nor shear modulus change with light soaking indicating that the Debye specific heat is unchanged which suggests that light soaking creates localized vibrational modes in addition to TLS. The increase can be reversibly added and removed by light soaking and annealing, respectively, suggesting that it is related to the Staebler-Wronski effect (SWE), even in a-Si without H, and involves a reversible nanoscale structural rearrangement that is facilitated by, but does not require, H to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Article number26001
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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