Passivation of Detector‐Grade FZ‐Si with ALD‐Grown Aluminium Oxide

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Silicon radiation and particle detectors are traditionally passivated with thermal silicon dioxide. It has been shown that aluminium oxide (Al2O3) films provide better surface passivation due to their high negative charge, but studies on Al2O3 surface passivation are usually performed on low‐resistivity substrates. In this article, the passivation of high‐resistivity, detector‐grade float‐zone silicon with Al2O3 is studied, with a specific emphasis on the effect of post‐anneal temperature on carrier lifetimes and film properties. It is confirmed that Al2O3 provides excellent surface passivation also on high‐resistivity FZ‐Si substrates, with a low interface defect density of around (2–4) × 1011 cm−2eV−1 and high negative oxide charge of 1 × 1012 to 3 × 1012 q cm−2, when post‐annealed at temperatures of up to 450–500 °C. In addition, high‐resistivity samples are studied for the phenomenon of bulk lifetime degradation occurring at typical post‐anneal or metal sintering temperatures, which has been reported for low‐resistivity FZ silicon. At post‐anneal temperatures of >500 °C, reduced bulk lifetimes are observed if the substrates did not receive high‐temperature treatment prior to surface passivation. Furthermore, it is noticed that n‐type samples exhibit lower bulk lifetimes even when a high‐temperature treatment was performed, which indicates a connection between FZ‐Si bulk lifetime degradation and doping type.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science
Issue number17
Early online date11 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • aluminum oxides
  • charge carrier lifetimes
  • detectors
  • float-zone silicon
  • surface passivation


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