The kinetic growth model for hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) from SiH3 radicals in SiH4 plasmas is reviewed on the basis of recently obtained experimental and computational data. New surface reactions are considered and their implications for the a-Si:H film growth mechanism are discussed. Furthermore, from the experimentally observed substrate temperature-dependence of the bulk hydrogen content and the composition of the a-Si:H surface hydrides, it is concluded that surface processes play an important role in hydrogen elimination from the film during growth.
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Fruitful discussions with S. Ramalingam, D. Maroudas, A. von Keudell, and J.R. Robertson are acknowledged. C. Smit, B.A. Korevaar, M.G.H. Boogaarts, and J.P.M. Hoefnagels are thanked for their contributions to the measurements. This work was supported by NWO, FOM, and NOVEM.
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