In this paper, by means of high-resolution photoemission, soft X-ray absorption and atomic force microscopy, we investigate, for the first time, the mechanisms of damaging, induced by neutron source, and recovering (after annealing) of p-i-n detector devices based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). This investigation will be performed by mean of high-resolution photoemission, soft X-Ray absorption and atomic force microscopy. Due to dangling bonds, the amorphous silicon is a highly defective material. However, by hydrogenation it is possible to reduce the density of the defect by several orders of magnitude, using hydrogenation and this will allow its usage in radiation detector devices. The investigation of the damage induced by exposure to high energy irradiation and its microscopic origin is fundamental since the amount of defects determine the electronic properties of the a-Si:H. The comparison of the spectroscopic results on bare and irradiated samples shows an increased degree of disorder and a strong reduction of the Si-H bonds after irradiation. After annealing we observe a partial recovering of the Si-H bonds, reducing the disorder in the Si (possibly due to the lowering of the radiation-induced dangling bonds). Moreover, effects in the uppermost coating are also observed by spectroscopies.
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