Thermally activated defects in float zone silicon: Effect of nitrogen on the introduction of deep level states

Jack Mullins, Vladimir P. Markevich, Michelle Vaqueiro-contreras, Nicholas E. Grant, Leif Jensen, Jarosław Jabłoński, John D. Murphy, Matthew P. Halsall, Anthony R. Peaker

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    Float zone silicon (FZ-Si) is typically assumed to be an extremely high quality material, with high minority carrier lifetimes and low concentrations of recombination active defects. However, minority carrier lifetime in FZ-Si has previously been shown to be unstable following thermal treatments between 450 and 700 °C, with a range of unidentified deep level states being linked to reduced carrier lifetime. There are suspicions that nitrogen doping, which occurs from the growth atmosphere, and intrinsic point defects play a role in the degradation. This study aims to address this by using deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS), minority carrier transient spectroscopy, Laplace DLTS, and photoluminescence lifetime measurements to study recombination active defects in nitrogen-doped and nitrogen-lean n-type FZ-Si samples. We find that nitrogen-doped samples experience increased degradation due to higher concentrations of deep level defects during thermal treatments compared to nitrogen-lean samples. In an attempt to explain this difference, in-diffusion of nickel has been used as a marker to demonstrate the existence of higher vacancy concentrations in the nitrogen-doped samples. The origin of the recombination active defects responsible for the thermally induced lifetime degradation in FZ-Si crystals is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)035701
    JournalJournal of Applied Physics
    Issue number3
    Early online date16 Jul 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2018

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • National Graphene Institute


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