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Thin films of homogeneous mixture of amorphous silicon and aluminum were produced with magnetron sputtering using 2-phase Al–Si targets. The films exhibited variable compositions, with and without the presence of hydrogen, aSiAl and aSiAlH. The structure and optical properties of the films were investigated using transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV-Vis spectrometry, ellipsometry, and atomistic modeling. We studied the effect of alloying aSi with Al (within the range 0–25 at. %) on the optical band gap,refractive index, transmission, and absorption. Alloying aSi with Al resulted in a non-transparent film with a low band gap (<1 eV). Hydrogenation of the films increased the band gap to values >1 eV. Variations of the Al and hydrogen content allowed for tuning of the optoelectronic properties. The films are stable up to a temperature of 300 °C. At this temperature, we observed Al induced crystallization of the amorphous silicon and the presence of large Al particles in a crystalline Si matrix.


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