W and X Photoluminescence Centers in Crystalline Si: Chasing Candidates at Atomic Level Through Multiscale Simulations

M Aboy and I Santos and P Lopez and LA Marques and L Pelaz, JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, 47, 5045-5049 (2018).

DOI: 10.1007/s11664-018-6300-z

Several atomistic techniques have been combined to identify the structure of defects responsible for X and W photoluminescence lines in crystalline Si. We used kinetic Monte Carlo simulations to reproduce irradiation and annealing conditions used in photoluminescence experiments. We found that W and X radiative centers are related to small Si self-interstitial clusters but coexist with larger Si self- interstitials clusters that can act as nonradiative centers. We used molecular dynamics simulations to explore the many different configurations of small Si self-interstitial clusters, and selected those having symmetry compatible with W and X photoluminescence centers. Using ab initio simulations, we calculated their formation energy, donor levels, and energy of local vibrational modes. On the basis of photoluminescence experiments and our multiscale theoretical calculations, we discuss the possible atomic configurations responsible for W and X photoluminescence centers in Si. Our simulations also reveal that the intensity of photoluminescence lines is the result of competition between radiative centers and nonradiative competitors, which can explain the experimental quenching of W and X lines even in the presence of the photoluminescence centers.

Return to Publications page