Effect of extended defects on phonon confinement in polycrystalline Si and Ge films

16 February 2024, Version 1


We present Raman spectroscopy of the polycrystalline Si and Ge films deposited by molecular beam deposition on a dielectric substrate. The Raman study has been made using lasers with different wavelengths. Structural properties of the poly-films have been studied by XRD and TEM. The Raman spectra are characterized by appearance of the additional wide peaks around 500 cm–1 and 290 cm–1 in the main vibrational bands of TO(c-Si) and TO(c-Ge) phonons, respectively. It is shown that these peaks correspond to scattering in grain boundary area. For the poly–Si films, both a downward shift and an asymmetrical broadening of the vibrational band of TO(c-Si) near 520 cm–1 are observed, whereas there is only a symmetric broadening in the spectra of poly-Ge. The Raman line shape has been modeled within the framework of the phonon confinement theory taking into account the sizes of coherent scattering domains obtained using XRD. The model includes a symmetrical band broadening observed in polycrystalline films. It is shown that confinement of phonon propagation might be in the poly–Si films. The phonon dispersion and the density of phonon states have been simulated using density functional theory. It has been found that phonon confinement relates to grain boundaries rather than other extended defects such as twins (multiple twins, twin boundaries), the appearance of which does not lead to significant changes in phonon dispersion and density of phonon states.


Polycrystalline films
phonon confinement
extended defects
density of phonon states


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