Recent work has shown that the electrical properties of hydrogenated nanocrystalline Si (a/nc-Si:H) make this material a promising candidate for applications in solar cells. However, the analysis of the nanocrystalline content and structure of the constituent nanoparticles by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is complicated by the presence of the surrounding amorphous matrix. The present study applies the technique of spherical-aberration corrected TEM for the identification and analysis of the crystalline content of a a/nc-Si:H film. Analyses of nanoparticles of Si of approximately 1.5 nm size and planar defects in these nanoparticles are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
CRP and CBC acknowledge support from the 3M Heltzer Endowed Chair and the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota. CRP, CBC, and ML thank Professor Knut Urban, Research Center Jülich, for his encouragement, Dr Andreas Thust (Research Center Jülich) for helpful discussions, and Ms Julia Deneen (University of Minnesota) for careful examination of the manuscript. The project on aberration-correction of a transmission electron microscope was funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung. ST and UK acknowledge partial support by NSF under IGERT grant DGE-0114372 and DOE under grant DE-FGO2-OOER54583.