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2002 Edition, December 10, 2002

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Standard Test Methods for Minority-Carrier Lifetime in Bulk Germanium and Silicon by Measurement of Photoconductivity Decay

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2002 Edition, December 10, 2002
  • Published Date: December 10, 2002
  • Status: Not Active, See comments below
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: ASTM International (ASTM)
  • Page Count: 9
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

These test methods cover the measurement of minority carrier lifetime appropriate to carrier recombination processes in bulk specimens of extrinsic single-crystal germanium or silicon.

These test methods are based on the measurement of the decay of the specimen conductivity after generation of carriers with a light pulse. The following two test methods are described:

Test Method A - Pulsed Light Method, that is suitable for both silicon and germination.

Test Method B - Chopped Light Method, that is specific to silicon specimens with resistivity ≥1 Ω·cm.

Both test methods are nondestructive in the sense that the specimens can be used repeatedly to carry out the measurement, but these methods require special bar-shaped test specimens of size (see Table 1) and surface condition (lapped) that would be generally unsuitable for other applications.

The shortest measurable lifetime values are determined by the turn-off characteristics of the light source while the longest values are determined primarily by the size of the test specimen (see Table 2).

NOTE 1 - Minority carrier lifetime may also be deduced from the diffusion length as measured by the surface photovoltage (SPV) method made in accordance with Test Methods F 391. The minority carrier lifetime is the square of the diffusion length divided by the minority carrier diffusion constant which can be calculated from the drift mobility. SPV measurements are sensitive primarily to the minority carriers; the contribution from majority carriers is minimized by the use of a surface depletion region. As a result lifetimes measured by the SPV method are often shorter than lifetimes measured by the photoconductivity decay (PCD) method because the photoconductivity can contain contributions from majority as well as minority carriers. In the absence of carrier trapping, both the SPV and PCD methods should yield the same values of lifetime (1) providing that the correct values of absorption coefficient are used for the SPV measurements and that the contributions from surface recombination are properly accounted for in the PCD measurement.

This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific hazard statements are given in Section 9.