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Two-level systems in evaporated amorphous silicon

  • Author(s): Queen, DR;
  • Liu, X;
  • Karel, J;
  • Jacks, HC;
  • Metcalf, TH;
  • Hellman, F
  • et al.

In e-beam evaporated amorphous silicon (a-Si), the densities of two-level systems (TLS), n0 and P¯, determined from specific heat C and internal friction Q- 1 measurements, respectively, have been shown to vary by over three orders of magnitude. Here we show that n0 and P¯ are proportional to each other with a constant of proportionality that is consistent with the measurement time dependence proposed by Black and Halperin and does not require the introduction of additional anomalous TLS. However, n0 and P¯ depend strongly on the atomic density of the film (nSi) which depends on both film thickness and growth temperature suggesting that the a-Si structure is heterogeneous with nanovoids or other lower density regions forming in a dense amorphous network. A review of literature data shows that this atomic density dependence is not unique to a-Si. These findings suggest that TLS are not intrinsic to an amorphous network but require a heterogeneous structure to form.

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