Metastable defects in hydrogenated amorphous silicon
The electronic structure of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is in a state of metastable equilibrium and can change upon application of external stimuli. We study the effect of thermal quenching and light soaking in lithium-doped a-Si:H, on its conductivity and thermopower. We present evidence showing that the metastable state obtained after fast quenching is different than that obtained after light exposure. Experiments on chalcogenides show that they are not affected by thermal quenching although they change upon light soaking. This is in contrast with lithium doped a-Si:H in which both effects are observed. Our experiments suggest that hydrogen present in a-Si:H plays an important role by controlling heterogeneities and potential fluctuations in a-Si:H. Light soaking appears to enhance these potential flucutations, whereas fast cooling seems to have little effect on them.
Volume 43, 2020
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