Data pertaining to Si deposition via magnetron sputtering for photocatalytic conversion of water-A7-TUD
This data was collected during the work on n-Si-thin films fabrication at Forschungzentrum Julich GmbH, Germany (as part of my MS thesis from Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany). The research data is focused on successfully depositing n-Si thin films to be used as a tandem-cell, in conjunction with TiO(II), for photocatalytic conversion of water. The research was focused on acquiring the best (optimal) conditions for depositing n-Si thin films, using magnetron sputtering, and to investigate the effect of post-sputtering treatment on the crystallinity of the deposited films (rapid thermal annealing (RTA) and long cycle annealing (AN)). The samples were successfully characterized via Raman Spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction and Optical Transmission Spectroscopy to ascertain prevalent crystalline order and optical band gap, under different sputtering and post-sputtering conditions. By using the information from these characterization techniques relevant conclusions were drawn to ascertain the best possible deposition parameters to sputter n-Si on a silica substrate. Our results indicated that of the applied two post sputtering processes, namely RTA and AN, AN is preferably more prone to produce a wholly crystalline structure as compared to RTA. Our work also suggests that in order to fabricate crystalline Si thin films, the important processing variable is the post sputtering treatment, preferably long cycle annealing under Ar + H₂ (6%) working gas atmosphere, using temperatures up to 900C, to restrain the loss of Si at higher annealing temperatures. This study also concludes that since the long-range order formed in these samples at low temperatures is micro-crystalline, Raman spectroscopy is much more efficient and competent to assess the degree of crystallinity present in the samples as compared to XRD.