Quantification of the bond-angle dispersion by Raman spectroscopy and the strain energy of amorphous silicon

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A thorough critical analysis of the theoretical relationships between the bond-angle dispersion in a-Si, Δθ, and the width of the transverse optical Raman peak, Γ, is presented. It is shown that the discrepancies between them are drastically reduced when unified definitions for Δθ and Γ are used. This reduced dispersion in the predicted values of Δθ together with the broad agreement with the scarce direct determinations of Δθ is then used to analyze the strain energy in partially relaxed pure a-Si. It is concluded that defect annihilation does not contribute appreciably to the reduction of the a-Si energy during structural relaxation. In contrast, it can account for half of the crystallization energy, which can be as low as 7 kJ/mol in defect-free a-Si ​
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