The ubiquitous low-energy excitations, known as two-level tunneling systems (TLSs), are one of the universal phenomena of amorphous solids. Low temperature elastic measurements show that e-beam amorphous silicon (a-Si) contains a variable density of TLSs which diminishes as the growth temperature reaches 400 °C. Structural analyses show that these a-Si films become denser and more structurally ordered. We conclude that the enhanced surface energetics at a high growth temperature improved the amorphous structural network of e-beam a-Si and removed TLSs. This work obviates the role hydrogen was previously thought to play in removing TLSs in the hydrogenated form of a-Si and suggests it is possible to prepare "perfect" amorphous solids with "crystal-like" properties for applications.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- July 2014
- Anelasticity internal friction stress relaxation and mechanical resonances;
- Amorphous semiconductors metals and alloys;
- Glasses and amorphous solids