Nanocrystalline Si formation in the a-Si/Al system on polyimide and silicon dioxide substrates

Terry Alford, P. K. Shetty, N. D. Theodore, N. Tile, D. Adams, J. W. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Polysilicon (poly-Si) films fabricated on flexible substrates are of considerable interest because of their potential application in flexible displays. In this study, an 800 nm layer of amorphous silicon (a-Si), followed by a 20 nm layer of aluminum (Al), were deposited on polyimide/silicon and silicon dioxide/silicon (SiO2/Si) substrates. Samples on polyimide were rapid thermal annealed at 900 °C for 20 s, while those on SiO2/Si were vacuum annealed at temperatures between 200 and 600 °C for 1 h. Film properties were analyzed using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, cross-section transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Silicon films containing nanocrystallites and pores were obtained, with a pore formation activation energy (EA) of 0.59 eV. A short-range self-diffusion model is proposed for the formation of Si crystallites in cases where the solid-solubility limit for Si dissolution into Al has not been reached.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3940-3947
Number of pages8
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number12
StatePublished - Apr 30 2008


  • Aluminum induced crystallization
  • Polyimide
  • XTEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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