Dynamics of Photo-excited Hot Carriers in Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Imaged by 4D Electron Microscopy

10 Oct 2016  ·  Liao Bolin, Najafi Ebrahim, Li Heng, Minnich Austin J., Zewail Ahmed H. ·

The dynamics of charge carriers in amorphous semiconductors fundamentally differ from those in crystalline semiconductors due to the lack of long-range order and the high defect density. Despite intensive technology-driven research interests and the existence of well-established experimental techniques, such as photoconductivity time-of-flight and ultrafast optical measurements, many aspects of the dynamics of photo-excited charge carriers in amorphous semiconductors remain poorly understood... Here we demonstrate direct imaging of carrier dynamics in space and time after photo-excitation in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) by scanning ultrafast electron microscopy (SUEM). We observe an unexpected regime of fast diffusion immediately after photoexcitation along with spontaneous electron-hole separation and charge trapping induced by the atomic disorder. Our findings demonstrate the rich dynamics of hot carrier transport in amorphous semiconductors that can be revealed by direct imaging based on SUEM. read more

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Materials Science