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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2016, Article ID 5807940, 9 pages
Research Article

Amorphous Silicon-Germanium Films with Embedded Nanocrystals for Thermal Detectors with Very High Sensitivity

National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE), Electronics Department, Laboratory of Innovation in MEMS (LI-MEMS), 72840 Tonantzintla, PUE, Mexico

Received 19 October 2015; Revised 6 January 2016; Accepted 11 January 2016

Academic Editor: Wen Zeng

Copyright © 2016 Cesar Calleja et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have optimized the deposition conditions of amorphous silicon-germanium films with embedded nanocrystals in a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) reactor, working at a standard frequency of 13.56 MHz. The objective was to produce films with very large Temperature Coefficient of Resistance (TCR), which is a signature of the sensitivity in thermal detectors (microbolometers). Morphological, electrical, and optical characterization were performed in the films, and we found optimal conditions for obtaining films with very high values of thermal coefficient of resistance (TCR = 7.9% K−1). Our results show that amorphous silicon-germanium films with embedded nanocrystals can be used as thermosensitive films in high performance infrared focal plane arrays (IRFPAs) used in commercial thermal cameras.