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Materials 2014, 7(2), 1249-1260; doi:10.3390/ma7021249

Effect of Sample Elevation in Radio Frequency Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (RF PECVD) Reactor on Optical Properties and Deposition Rate of Silicon Nitride Thin Films

Institute of Microelectronics and Optoelectronics, Warsaw University of Technology, Koszykowa 75, Warsaw 00-662, Poland
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Received: 11 December 2013 / Revised: 27 January 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 17 February 2014
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Abstract

In this paper we investigate influence of radio frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (RF PECVD) process parameters, which include gas flows, pressure and temperature, as well as a way of sample placement in the reactor, on optical properties and deposition rate of silicon nitride (SiNx) thin films. The influence of the process parameters has been determined using Taguchi’s orthogonal tables approach. As a result of elevating samples above the electrode, it has been found that deposition rate strongly increases with distance between sample and the stage electrode, and reaches its maximum 7 mm above the electrode. Moreover, the refractive index of the films follows increase of the thickness. The effect can be observed when the thickness of the film is below 80 nm. It has been also found that when the deposition temperature is reduced down to 200 °C, as required for many temperature-sensitive substrate materials, the influence of the substrate material (Si or oxidized Si) can be neglected from the point of view of the properties of the films. We believe that the obtained results may help in designing novel complex in shape devices, where optical properties and thickness of thin plasma-deposited coatings need to be well defined.
Keywords: silicon nitride (SiNx); optical properties; RF PECVD; process parameters; plasma activity; Taguchi’s method silicon nitride (SiNx); optical properties; RF PECVD; process parameters; plasma activity; Taguchi’s method
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Śmietana, M.; Mroczyński, R.; Kwietniewski, N. Effect of Sample Elevation in Radio Frequency Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (RF PECVD) Reactor on Optical Properties and Deposition Rate of Silicon Nitride Thin Films. Materials 2014, 7, 1249-1260.

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