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Trap mediated piezoresponse of silicon in the space charge limit.

Abstract : This thesis presents a study of giant, anomalous piezo-resistance (PZR) in depleted nano-silicon. PZR in bulk silicon is a technologically important phenomenon in which mechanical stress changes the electrical resistivity via a change in the charge carrier effective masses. With continued reductions in device dimensions, it is of interest to explore the PZR of silicon micro- and nano-objects in which giant PZR and PZR of anomalous sign have been reported in recent years. The physical origin of these effects remains unclear and in some cases, even the veracity of the claimed results has been questioned. Some basic elements of the claimed effects are agreed upon, for example they occur in surface depleted nanostructures where transport is described by space charge limited currents (SCLC). In this thesis the details of the stress-dependence of the charge trapping and emission rates at fast electronic traps during SCLC transport in fully depleted silicon-on-insulator is probed using impedance spectroscopy. This, combined with an X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy study of statically deflected silicon cantilevers, strongly suggests that giant, non-steady-state PZR is due to stress-induced changes to hole trapping dynamics at intrinsic interface states. In contrast, under steady-state conditions like those used in all previous studies, giant PZR is not observed even in the presence of interface traps. On the other hand, anomalous, steady-state PZR is observed in defect engineered SCLC devices, and is shown to be the result of a voltage bias induced type change of the majority carrier. In chapter 1 the history of PZR is introduced. Prior reports of giant and anomalous PZR are then discussed. Chapter 2 presents the physical description of the PZR in silicon when transport occurs in the Ohmic regime. Both large-signal and small-signal SCLC transport are then introduced. Chapter 3 introduces the experimental details and the samples used throughout this work. Chapter 4 contains the principal impedance spectroscopy results. Giant, anomalous PZR and a novel piezo-capacitance are observed under non-steady-state conditions in fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator. Comparison of theory and data indicate that the devices operate in the SCLC regime in the presence of fast traps, and that the giant, anomalous PZR results from the stress dependence of the charge capture and emission rates of these traps. This in turn yields large changes of the non-equilibrium charge carrier concentrations. The importance of these observations in clarifying the physical origin, and the veracity of previous reports of steady-state, giant PZR, is discussed. Chapter 5 reports a comparison of Raman and XPS maps on statically deflected silicon cantilevers, providing a spectroscopic measurement of the stress-dependence of the pinned surface Fermi level at natively oxidized (001) silicon surfaces. A simplified analysis of the observed even symmetry of the stress-induced Fermi level shifts suggests that intrinsic interface defects (Pb0) are likely responsible for the giant, anomalous PZR reported in Chapter 4. Chapter 6 reports the DC bias dependence of the PZR in n.i.d. n-type, defect engineered silicon devices. The device characteristic exhibits three regimes; an Ohmic regime at low biases dominated by equilibrium electrons, a modified Mott-Gurney regime at intermediate biases dominated by holes injected from p++ contacts, and an electron-hole plasma regime at high biases. In each case the PZR depends on the majority carrier type; at low biases the usual n-type PZR is observed (i.e. the sign is negative); at intermediate biases it switches to the bulk p-type (i.e. positive) PZR; in the plasma regime, the PZR is a combination of the bulk electron and hole values. The results help shed light on observations of anomalous (i.e. sign reversed) PZR in depleted nano-silicon. Finally, chapter 7 summarizes the conclusions and introduces possible future research directions.
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Heng Li. Trap mediated piezoresponse of silicon in the space charge limit.. Condensed Matter [cond-mat]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLX039⟩. ⟨tel-02319092⟩

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