Selected Publications

Elastic measurements of amorphous silicon films at mK temperatures

A. Fefferman, A. Maldonado, E. Collin, X. Liu, T. Metcalf and G. Jernigan

The low-temperature properties of glass are distinct from those of crystals due to the presence of poorly understood low-energy excitations. The tunneling model proposes that these are atoms tunneling between nearby equilibria, forming tunneling two-level systems (TLSs). This model is rather successful, but it does not explain the remarkably universal value of the mechanical dissipation Q1 near 1 K. The only known exceptions to this universality are the Q1 of certain thin films of amorphous silicon, carbon and germanium. Recently, it was found that Q1 of amorphous silicon (a-Si) films can be reduced by two orders of magnitude by increasing the temperature of the substrate during deposition. According to the tunneling model, the reduction in Q1 at 1 K implies a reduction in P0γ2, where P0 is the density of TLSs and γ is their coupling to phonons. In this preliminary report, we demonstrate elastic measurements of a-Si films down to 20 mK. This will allow us, in future work, to determine whether P0 or γ is responsible for the reduction in Q1 with deposition temperature.

J. of Low Temp. Phys. 187 (2017) 654

doi: 10.1007/s10909-016-1686-6