Direct observation of electron capture and reemission by the divacancy via charge transient positron spectroscopy

C. J. Edwardson, P. G. Coleman, D. J. Paez, J. K. Doylend, A. P. Knights

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Electron capture during forward bias and reemission at zero bias by divacancies in the depletion region of a silicon diode structure at room temperature have been studied for the first time using monoenergetic positrons. The positron response increases essentially linearly with electron current, as a result of increased positron trapping by negatively charged divacancies. The measurements indicate that ≤1% of the divacancies become negatively charged in the steady state at a forward bias of 1 V. Changes in the mean positron response when applying a square wave bias to the sample (1 V forward bias and 0 V, duty cycle 1∶4, times at 0 V in the range 0.1–100  μs), were consistent with a rapid conversion of doubly to singly charged divacancies (in ∼101  ns), followed by slower defilling of the singly charged divacancies with a time constant of ∼101  μs. These ac measurements allow determination of the relative populations of singly and doubly charged divacancies. The results provide confirmation of consistency between the positron’s response to the silicon divacancy and previously extracted capture and emission kinetics determined through charge transient measurements and assigned to the same defect. The possibility of combining these two, orthogonal techniques suggest a promising new and powerful approach to defect spectroscopy in which the structure and electrical properties of a defect may be determined in a single measurement.
Original languageEnglish
Article number136401
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
Early online date25 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2013


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