Microscopic theory of hydrogen in silicon devices

Chris G. Van De Walle, Blair R. Tuttle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Incorporation of hydrogen has a strong effect on the characteristics of silicon devices. A fundamental understanding of the microscopic mechanisms is required in order to monitor and control the behavior of hydrogen. First-principles calculations have been instrumental in providing such understanding. We first outline the basic principles that govern the interaction between hydrogen and silicon, followed by an overview of recent first-principles results for hydrogen interactions with silicon. We show that H2 molecules are far less inert than previously assumed. We then discuss results for motion of hydrogen through the material, as relating to diffusion and defect formation. We also discuss the enhanced stability of Si-D compared to Si-H bonds, which may provide a means of suppressing defect generation. We present a microscopic mechanism for hydrogen-hydrogen exchange, and examine the metastable ≡ SiH2 complex formed during the exchange process. Throughout, we highlight issues relevant for hydrogen in amorphous silicon (used in solar cells, sensors and displays) and in Si-SiO2 structures (used in integrated circuits). The broader impact of first-principles calculations on computational electronics will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1779-1786
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Microscopic theory of hydrogen in silicon devices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this