The crystallization properties of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film deposited by rf magnetron sputter deposition with substrate bias have been thoroughly characterized. The crystallization kinetics for films deposited with substrate bias is enhanced relative to unbiased a-Si by films. The enhanced crystallization for substrate biased a-Si films are attributed to ion enhanced nucleation of crystallites during sputter deposition which subsequently grow during the postdeposition anneal. Conversely films sputter deposited without substrate bias have more intrinsic defects and residual oxygen which enhance nucleation and retard growth, respectively, and lead to a large number of small crystallites.

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