Positron probing of disordered regions in neutron-irradiated silicon

Nikolay Arutyunov*, Nick Bennett, Neil Wight, Reinhard Krause-Rehberg, Vadim Emtsev, Nikolay Abrosimov, Vitalii Kozlovski

*Corresponding author for this work

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The vacancy-rich disordered regions (DR) playing a key role in improving the thermoelectric figure-of-merit of silicon thermoelectric generators by reducing (by ∼90%) the thermal conductivity, have been probed with positrons. The DR were created by irradiating n-Cz-Si(P) material with the fast reactor neutrons. The parameter of the electron density rs′ ≈ 2.18 a.u. contacting positrons in DR has been reconstructed using the data of the angular correlation of the annihilation radiation (ACAR); the amendments to the rs′ value associated with the ion core electrons were taken into account. It is argued that the ion cores of atoms of silicon as well as the ones of the as-grown impurities (O, C) are involved in the open vacancy volume to be probed with positrons: a relaxation of the ion cores directed inward toward the vacancy volume seems to take place. These positron traps are formed beyond the vacancy-rich area of the disordered region. In the course of isochronal annealing, the traps are stable up to Tanneal. ≈ 520 °C when a recovery of ACAR parameters begins and then it continues up to ∼1050 °C. A vacancy center containing positrons in the open vacancy volume beyond the vacancy-rich area of the disordered region is shown schematically. The emission of electron–positron annihilation gamma-quanta dominates from within these positron traps. The values of both the electron–positron ion core radius (rm) and electron density (parameter rs′) suggest a relaxation directed toward inwards the open vacancy volume: the impurity atoms of oxygen and carbon are, perhaps, involved in the center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2175-2179
Number of pages5
JournalPhysica Status Solidi B - Basic Research
Issue number11
Early online date17 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • disordered materials
  • neutron irradiation
  • positron annihilation
  • silicon
  • vacancies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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