Scanning probe studies of amorphous silicon subjected to laser annealing



The process of light induced solid phase crystallization (LISPC) of thin layers of amorphous silicon (a-Si) embedded in silicon oxide (SiO2) was investigated using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The results achieved by different modes of AFM, namely Phase Contrast Imaging, Lateral Force Mapping and Scanning Kelvin Probe microscopy reveal several steps of light-matter interaction. There is clear evidence that the very first steps take place inside of the structure leaving the surface pristine.Also, the findings well agree with that achieved by micro Raman spectroscopy yielding information on the local crystalline structure. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)