A technique is presented for the passivation of porous silicon (PS) thin films via nitrogen based annealing at the lowest temperature ever reported. Annealing freshly anodized PS thin films at temperatures as low as 520 ∘C under N2 flow in a rapid thermal annealer produces films that show no change in refractive index when exposed to ambient conditions over 60 days. These films also exhibited chemical resistance by surviving a brief dip in both concentrated KOH and buffered HF. Unlike most other PS surface passivation methods, this technique causes negligible reduction in refractive index of the annealed PS thin films. Passivation only occurs when dangling bonds and mono-hydrides populate the PS surface, providing a path for thermal interactions with the N2 gas.
|Journal||Solid State Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|