The morphology of a series of thin films of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) grown by plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor deposition (PECVD) is studied using scanning tunneling microscopy. The substrates were atomically flat, oxide-free, single-crystal silicon. Films were grown in a PECVD chamber directly connected to a surface analysis chamber with no air exposure between growth and measurement. The homogeneous roughness of the films increases with film thickness. The quantification of this roughening is achieved by calculation of both rms roughness and lateral correlation lengths of the a-Si:H film surface from the height difference correlation functions of the measured topographs. Homogeneous roughening occurs over the film surface due to the collective behavior of the flux of depositing radical species and their interactions with the growth surface.
© 1997 David M. Tanenbaum
D.M. Tanenbaum, A. Laracuente, and A.C. Gallagher "Surface roughening during plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition of hydrogenated amorphous silicon on crystal silicon substrates" Physical Review B., Vol. 56, no. 7, p. 4243, August 15, 1997. http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevB.56.4243