Hydrogen and helium interactions in Si: Phenomena obscure and not-so-obscure

S. Ashok

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The deliberate use of H- and He-related phenomena in crystalline Si (c-Si) has at times been hampered by concerns of the mobility of these light elements and hence potential device instability. However H is inevitably present in many Si processing steps, though not necessarily in the finished device. Accordingly one could differentiate between a transient or catalytic interaction of H with c-Si, and one where H resides permanently during device operation. We have uncovered phenomena on both domains, and these involve trapping and de-trapping of H by defective regions, thermal activation of latent defects in hydrogenated c-Si, and low-temperature activation of ion implanted dopant atoms. He differs from H principally by its electrical inactivity, but plays a significant role in altering the microstructure. The strong interaction of He with vacancy clusters results in nanocavities that act as excellent gettering sites and also enable localized minority carrier lifetime control. H and He thus offer possibilities for defect and impurity engineering in Si.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-7
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - May 15 2005
Event12th International Conference on Solid Films and Surfaces - Hammatsu, Japan
Duration: Jun 21 2004Jun 25 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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