Open Access Nano Express

Rapid thermal annealing and crystallization mechanisms study of silicon nanocrystal in silicon carbide matrix

Zhenyu Wan*, Shujuan Huang, Martin A Green and Gavin Conibeer

Author Affiliations

ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:129  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-129

Published: 10 February 2011


In this paper, a positive effect of rapid thermal annealing (RTA) technique has been researched and compared with conventional furnace annealing for Si nanocrystalline in silicon carbide (SiC) matrix system. Amorphous Si-rich SiC layer has been deposited by co-sputtering in different Si concentrations (50 to approximately 80 v%). Si nanocrystals (Si-NC) containing different grain sizes have been fabricated within the SiC matrix under two different annealing conditions: furnace annealing and RTA both at 1,100°C. HRTEM image clearly reveals both Si and SiC-NC formed in the films. Much better "degree of crystallization" of Si-NC can be achieved in RTA than furnace annealing from the research of GIXRD and Raman analysis, especially in high-Si-concentration situation. Differences from the two annealing procedures and the crystallization mechanism have been discussed based on the experimental results.