Amorphous silicon is a key constituent in next-generation flat-screen televisions and solar panels. The University of Girona scientists along with assistance from laboratories of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and University of Barcelona, conducted a new study, which has unveiled that the amorphous silicon’s energy in its most stable state is 50% less than the normal value.
The researchers have considered this data to be very essential in understanding the material structures and enhancing its properties.
A clear structure for amorphous solids is not available like crystalline materials. In an ordered arrangement, each atom has just one possible position whereas in an amorphous structure, the atoms can move to diverse positions to form a range of arrangements with varied energy levels. A theory published during 1980s stated that amorphous silicon can prevail only above a specific minimum degree of disorder. The relaxed state is a highly ordered arrangement, which makes the material more stable and decreases the property-variability over time. Hence deposition techniques are designed in such a way that the material is formed as near to the relaxed state as possible.
According to the “Physica Status Solidi–Rapid Research Letters” journal, a differential scanning calorimeter was utilized for energy measurement of 20 samples that were formed through many deposition processes. It was discovered that although samples deposited in a similar pattern generated different values, the lowest value was the same for all deposition methods. Corresponding to these findings and previous observations, it was concluded that the minimum energy values are related to the relaxed state. The received value is 50% less than the normal figure and is an essential finding for experts in amorphous silicon structure.
The results agree with the trial findings, which has shown that the best films are formed from the vapour stage and its structure comprises atoms of hydrogen.