Metal-mediated crystallization of amorphous silicon in silicon-silver layered systems

Toyohiko J. Konno, Robert Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the crystallization behaviour of amorphous Si(a-Si) in a-Si/Ag/a-Si trilayer and a-Si/Ag multilayer systems using in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and differential scanning calorimetry. The crystallization temperature of a-Si in these Si/Ag layered systems is 385-415°C, about 200°C lower than that found in pure a-Si, whereas the heat of crystallization is 12 ± 1 kJ mol-1, in good agreement with published values. During the reaction, in situ cross-section TEM showed that Ag grains border the a-Si matrix and the crystallized Si(c-Si) grains and that the Ag grains migrate toward the a-Si region, leaving the c-Si phase behind. In situ atomic resolution TEM also revealed that the lattice points of the migrating Ag grains are stationary during this process and that the interface between the c-Si and Ag phases advances by a ledge mechanism. These observations indicated that the Si atoms diffuse through the Ag grains and precipitate onto the c-Si phase, whereas the migration of the Ag grains is caused by the counter self-diffusion of the Ag atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalPhilosophical Magazine B: Physics of Condensed Matter; Statistical Mechanics, Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Feb


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