A long-existing problem that the conductivity of amorphous silicon carbonitrides derived from polymeric precursor increases significantly with pyrolysis temperature is investigated. We show that the conductivity exhibited an Arrhenius dependence on pyrolysis temperature, with the activation energy of ∼3.41 eV. Structural analysis using Raman spectroscopy reveals that the free carbon within the material undergoes a sp3-to-sp2 transition as pyrolysis temperature increases, with the activation energy of ∼3.6 eV. We conclude that the pyrolysis-temperature induced increase in the conductivity is mainly due to the increase in the conductivity of the free carbon. A simple model is proposed to correlate the two.

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Published in Applied Physics Letters, v. 102, no. 23, article 231902, p. 1-4.

Copyright 2013 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters, v. 102, article 231902, p. 1-4 and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4809825.

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This work was financially supported by National Energy Technology Laboratory, Department of Energy of USA (DE-FE0007004).

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