ABSTRACT We investigated the structural and optical properties of amorphous-SiGe thin films synthesized via a low-cost, high-growth rate deposition method. Films were formed by e-beam evaporation of mixed pellets of Si and Ge. Film composition was varied by changing the weight ratio of Si and Ge pellets mixture. Films were amorphous with a composition uniform. Ge-rich films are in tensile stress, while Si-rich films are in compressive stress. As the Ge fraction increases (from 22 at.% to 94 at.%), the optical bandgap decreases (from 1.7 eV to 0.9 eV) and the photosensitivity of the films extends into IR band of solar spectrum. By changing the weighted ratio of the evaporation source mixture, the bandgap and optical sensitivity of a-SiGe films can be easily tuned. Our studies prove that a-SiGe films are a tunable absorber. This can be used for photo-detector, photovoltaic and microelectronic applications to extend the spectral response.
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