Relaxation and derelaxation of pure and hydrogenated amorphous silicon during thermal annealing experiments

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The structural relaxation of pure amorphous silicon (a-Si) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) materials, that occurs during thermal annealing experiments, has been analyzed by Raman spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. Unlike a-Si, the heat evolved from a-Si:H cannot be explained by relaxation of the Si-Si network strain but it reveals a derelaxation of the bond angle strain. Since the state of relaxation after annealing is very similar for pure and hydrogenated materials, our results give strong experimental support to the predicted configurational gap between a-Si and crystalline silicon ​
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