Other affiliations: École Polytechnique
Bio: Christoph Hollenstein is an academic researcher from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The author has contributed to research in topics: Plasma & Plasma torch. The author has an hindex of 15, co-authored 36 publications receiving 797 citations. Previous affiliations of Christoph Hollenstein include École Polytechnique.
TL;DR: In this paper, a very high-frequency band at 70 MHz with the glow discharge technique at substrate temperatures between 280 and 50 degrees-C was used to evaluate the electronic and structural properties of hydrogenated amorphous silicon.
Abstract: Hydrogenated amorphous silicon has been prepared at a plasma excitation frequency in the very-high-frequency band at 70 MHz with the glow discharge technique at substrate temperatures between 280 and 50-degrees-C. The structural properties have been studied using hydrogen evolution, elastic recoil detection analysis, and infrared spectroscopy. The films were further characterized by dark and photoconductivity and by photothermal deflection spectroscopy. With respect to films prepared at the conventional frequency of 13.56 MHz considerable differences concerning the electronic and structural properties are observed as the substrate temperature is decreased from 280 to 50-degrees-C. Down to a substrate temperature of 150-degrees-C the electronic film properties change only a little and the total hydrogen content c(H) and the degree of microstructure that can be directly correlated to c(H) increase only moderately. Below 150-degrees-C the electronic properties deteriorate in the usual manner but still the total hydrogen content does not exceed 21 at.% even at a substrate temperature of 50-degrees-C. It is argued that the influence of the higher excitation frequency on the plasma and on the growth kinetics plays a key role in this context by allowing a highly effective dissociation of the process gas with the maximum ion energies remaining at low levels. It is concluded that deposition processes at higher excitation frequencies can have important technological implications by allowing a decrease of the deposition temperature without losses in the material quality.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors used a Brownian free molecule coagulation model to determine the time evolution of particle size and their number density in situ multi-angle polarization-sensitive laser light scattering.
Abstract: To determine self-consistently the time evolution of particle size and their number density in situ multi-angle polarization-sensitive laser light scattering was used. Cross-polarization intensities (incident and scattered light intensities with opposite polarization) measured at 135 degrees and ex situ transmission electronic microscopy analysis demonstrate the existence of nonspherical agglomerates during the early phase of agglomeration. Later in the particle time development both techniques reveal spherical particles again. The presence of strong cross-polarization intensities is accompanied by low-frequency instabilities detected on the scattered light intensities and plasma emission. It is found that the particle radius and particle number density during the agglomeration phase can be well described by the Brownian free molecule coagulation model. Application of this neutral particle coagulation model is justified by calculation of the particle charge whereby it is shown that particles of a few tens of nanometer can be considered as neutral under our experimental conditions. The measured particle dispersion can be well described by a Brownian free molecule coagulation model including a log-normal particle size distribution. (C) 1996 American Institute of Physics.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors review progress in this field, with particular emphasis on modelling developments, and present an analytical and numerical modeling approach to analyze thin-film deposition uniformity.
Abstract: Designing plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) reactors to coat large-area glass plates (similar to1 m(2)) for flat panel display or solar cell manufacturing raises challenging issues in physics and chemistry as well as mechanical, thermal, and electrical engineering, and material science. In such reactive glow discharge plasma slabs, excited at RF frequency (from 13.56 MHz up to similar to 100 MHz), the thin-film deposition uniformity is determined by the gas flow distribution, as well as the RF voltage distribution along the electrodes, and by local plasma perturbations at the reactor boundaries. All these aspects can be approached by analytical and numerical modelling. Moreover, the film properties are largely determined by the plasma chemistry involving the neutral radicals contributing to film growth, the effect of ion bombardment, and the formation and trapping of dust triggered by homogeneous nucleation. This paper will review progress in this field, with particular emphasis on modelling developments.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors used optical emission spectroscopy to investigate the electrical discharge machining (EDM) plasma and showed that the EDM plasma is non-ideal (Gamma similar or equal to 0.45).
Abstract: Plasma created during electrical discharge machining is systematically investigated using optical emission spectroscopy. Typical spectra show a strong H-alpha and continuum radiation, with many lines emitted by impurities coming from electrode and workpiece materials. The dielectric molecules are cracked by the discharge. Changing polarity affects the electrode wear and workpiece erosion rates, which can be qualitatively seen on the spectra. Time-resolved spectroscopy shows that the plasma density reaches 2 x 10(18) cm(-3) at the beginning of the discharge. This extreme density causes the merging of lines, strong Stark broadening and shift of the H-alpha line. Afterwards, the density decreases rapidly with time. The electron temperature remains roughly constant around 0.7 eV. The low temperature and the high density measured prove that the EDM plasma is non-ideal (Gamma similar or equal to 0.45). Absence of the H-beta line, asymmetric shape of the H-alpha line and complex structures around H-alpha are other spectroscopic evidences of the plasma non-ideality.
TL;DR: In this article, an end-on imaging arrangement using a mirror and a mask in the optical path from the are to the camera allows visualization of the anodic arc attachment by strongly attenuating the bright emission from the column.
Abstract: The fluctuating behavior of a Sulzer Metco F4 DC plasma gun has been investigated by simultaneous measurement of the time dependencies of the are voltage and of images from the nozzle interior. An end-on imaging arrangement using a mirror and a mask in the optical path from the are to the camera allows visualization of the anodic arc attachment by strongly attenuating the bright emission from the are column. With the torch operating in the restrike mode, sequences of images have been acquired in synchronization with several typical features of the are voltage fluctuations showing that the attachment nature changes during a restrike cycle. Multiple attachments which coexist at least during the 1 /spl mu/s exposure time of the camera have been evidenced and are interpreted as a continuous process of creation/vanishing of successive arc roots with a smooth transfer of the current from one to the other. The anode wear is shown to have a strong effect on the root position over the anode periphery, with a preference for attachment in eroded regions. The effects of operation parameters such as current, gas flow and injector type on the attachment nature and position are also presented.
TL;DR: Voltage‐dependent spectral response measurements suggest that the carrier transport in complete μc‐Si:H p‐i‐n cells may possibly be cosupported by diffusion (in addition to drift), and first light‐soaking experiments indicate no degradation for the entirely μc •Si •H cells.
Abstract: Complete μc‐Si:H p‐i‐n solar cells have been prepared by the very high frequency glow discharge method. Up to now, intrinsic μc‐Si:H has never attracted much attention as a photovoltaic active material. However, an efficiency of 4.6% and remarkably high short circuit current densities of up to 21.9 mA/cm2 due to an enhanced absorption in the near‐infrared could be obtained. First light‐soaking experiments indicate no degradation for the entirely μc‐Si:H cells. Voltage‐dependent spectral response measurements suggest that the carrier transport in complete μc‐Si:H p‐i‐n cells may possibly be cosupported by diffusion (in addition to drift).
TL;DR: An overview of dynamic self-organization phenomena in complex ionized gas systems, associated physical phenomena, and industrial applications is presented in this paper, where the most recent experimental, theoretical, and modeling efforts to understand the growth mechanisms and dynamics of nano- and micron-sized particles, as well as the unique properties of the plasma-particle systems (colloidal, or complex plasmas) and the associated physical effects are reviewed and the major technological applications of micro- and nanoparticles are discussed.
Abstract: An overview of dynamic self-organization phenomena in complex ionized gas systems, associated physical phenomena, and industrial applications is presented. The most recent experimental, theoretical, and modeling efforts to understand the growth mechanisms and dynamics of nano- and micron-sized particles, as well as the unique properties of the plasma-particle systems (colloidal, or complex plasmas) and the associated physical phenomena are reviewed and the major technological applications of micro- and nanoparticles are discussed. Until recently, such particles were considered mostly as a potential hazard for the microelectronic manufacturing and significant efforts were applied to remove them from the processing volume or suppress the gas-phase coagulation. Nowadays, fine clusters and particulates find numerous challenging applications in fundamental science as well as in nanotechnology and other leading high-tech industries.
TL;DR: The fundamentals of nanocrystal formation in plasmas are discussed, practical implementations of plasma reactors are reviewed, the materials that have been produced with nonthermal plAsmas and surface chemistries that have be developed are surveyed, and an overview of applications of plasma-synthesized nanocrystals is provided.
Abstract: Nonthermal plasmas have emerged as a viable synthesis technique for nanocrystal materials. Inherently solvent and ligand-free, nonthermal plasmas offer the ability to synthesize high purity nanocrystals of materials that require high synthesis temperatures. The nonequilibrium environment in nonthermal plasmas has a number of attractive attributes: energetic surface reactions selectively heat the nanoparticles to temperatures that can strongly exceed the gas temperature; charging of nanoparticles through plasma electrons reduces or eliminates nanoparticle agglomeration; and the large difference between the chemical potentials of the gaseous growth species and the species bound to the nanoparticle surfaces facilitates nanocrystal doping. This paper reviews the state of the art in nonthermal plasma synthesis of nanocrystals. It discusses the fundamentals of nanocrystal formation in plasmas, reviews practical implementations of plasma reactors, surveys the materials that have been produced with nonthermal pla...
TL;DR: In this paper, a novel scheme to fabricate nano-composite membrane materials containing fully dispersed nano-size zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) has been proposed for the first time.
Abstract: In this study, a novel scheme to fabricate nano-composite membrane materials containing fully dispersed nano-size zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) has been proposed for the first time. By mixing the as-synthesized ZIF-7 nano-particles without the traditional drying process with polybenzimidazole (PBI), the resultant membranes not only achieve an unprecedented ZIF-7 loading as high as 50 wt%, but also overcome the low permeability nature of PBI. The membranes exhibit characteristics of high transparency and mechanical flexibility, together with enhanced H2 permeability and ideal H2/CO2 permselectivity surpassing both neat PBI and ZIF-7 membranes. Advanced instrument analyses have confirmed the unique ZIF–polymer interface and elucidated the mixed matrix structure that contributes to the high ZIF loading and enhanced gas separation performance superior to the prediction from the Maxwell model. The high thermal stability, good dispersion of ZIF nanoparticles with minimal agglomeration and the attractive gas separation performance at elevated temperatures up to 180 °C indicate the practicability of this nano-composite material for hydrogen production and CO2 capture in realistic industrial applications under harsh and extreme environments.
TL;DR: In this article, H2 plasma treatments are used during film deposition to improve the passivation of the a-Si:H layers, and 4 cm2 heterojunction solar cells were produced with industry compatible processes, yielding open-circuit voltages up to 725 mV and aperture area efficiencies up to 21%.
Abstract: Silicon heterojunction solar cells have high open-circuit voltages thanks to excellent passivation of the wafer surfaces by thin intrinsic amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layers deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. We show a dramatic improvement in passivation when H2 plasma treatments are used during film deposition. Although the bulk of the a-Si:H layers is slightly more disordered after H2 treatment, the hydrogenation of the wafer/film interface is nevertheless improved with as-deposited layers. Employing H2 treatments, 4 cm2 heterojunction solar cells were produced with industry-compatible processes, yielding open-circuit voltages up to 725 mV and aperture area efficiencies up to 21%.