Role of inversion layer formation in producing low effective surface recombination velocities at Si/liquid contacts

William J. Royea, David J. Michalak, Nathan S Lewis

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Photoconductivity decay lifetimes have been obtained for NH4F(aq)-etched Si(111) and for air-oxidized Si(111) surfaces in contact with solutions of CH3OH or tetrahydrofuran (THF) containing either ferrocene+/0 (Fc+/0), bis(pentamethylcyclopentadienyl) Fe+/0, or I2. Si surfaces in contact with electrolytes having Nernstian redox potentials >0 V versus the standard calomel electrode exhibited low effective surface recombination velocities regardless of the different surface chemistries, whereas those exposed only to N2(g) ambients or to electrolytes containing mild oxidants showed differing rf photoconductivity decay behavior depending on their different surface chemistry. The data reveal that formation of an inversion layer, and not a reduced density of electrical trap sites on the surface, is primarily responsible for the long charge-carrier lifetimes observed for Si surfaces in contact with CH3OH or THF electrolytes containing I2 or Fc+/0.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2566-2568
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Oct 16 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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