Metastable Defect Formation at Microvoids Identified as a Source of Light-Induced Degradation in a-Si:H.

Physical review letters

PubMedID: 24580698

Fehr M, Schnegg A, Rech B, Astakhov O, Finger F, Bittl R, Teutloff C, Lips K. Metastable Defect Formation at Microvoids Identified as a Source of Light-Induced Degradation in a-Si:H. Phys Rev Lett. 2014;112(6):066403.
Light-induced degradation of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), known as the Staebler-Wronski effect, has been studied by time-domain pulsed electron-paramagnetic resonance. Electron-spin echo relaxation measurements in the annealed and light-soaked state revealed two types of defects (termed type I and II), which can be discerned by their electron-spin echo relaxation. Type I exhibits a monoexponential decay related to indirect flip-flop processes between dipolar coupled electron spins in defect clusters, while the phase relaxation of type II is dominated by H1 nuclear spin dynamics and is indicative for isolated spins. We propose that defects are either located at internal surfaces of microvoids (type I) or are isolated and uniformly distributed in the bulk (type II). The concentration of both defect type I and II is significantly higher in the light-soaked state compared to the annealed state. Our results indicate that in addition to isolated defects, defects on internal surfaces of microvoids play a role in light-induced degradation of device-quality a-Si:H.