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Hydrogen-free amorphous silicon with no tunneling states.

  • Author(s): Liu, Xiao;
  • Queen, Daniel R;
  • Metcalf, Thomas H;
  • Karel, Julie E;
  • Hellman, Frances
  • et al.

The ubiquitous low-energy excitations, known as two-level tunneling systems (TLSs), are one of the universal phenomena of amorphous solids. Low temperature elastic measurements show that e-beam amorphous silicon (a-Si) contains a variable density of TLSs which diminishes as the growth temperature reaches 400 °C. Structural analyses show that these a-Si films become denser and more structurally ordered. We conclude that the enhanced surface energetics at a high growth temperature improved the amorphous structural network of e-beam a-Si and removed TLSs. This work obviates the role hydrogen was previously thought to play in removing TLSs in the hydrogenated form of a-Si and suggests it is possible to prepare "perfect" amorphous solids with "crystal-like" properties for applications.

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