Publication
Journal of Applied Physics
Paper

Low-temperature deposition of silicon dioxide films from electron cyclotron resonant microwave plasmas

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Abstract

Silicon dioxide films were deposited on crystalline silicon substrates by electron cyclotron resonant (ECR) microwave plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Films were grown on Si〈100〉 substrates at temperatures of 140-600 °C, flow rates of 0.5-10 sccm SiH4, 10-30 sccm O2, and at a pressure of 10-3 Torr. Infrared absorption spectroscopy of the samples indicated no detectable SiH, OH, or SiOH groups. Neither an afterglow chemistry nor He dilution was required to eliminate H impurities as was previously reported for silicon oxide films deposited from rf plasmas. This suggests that significant differences exist between rf and ECR microwave plasma chemistries. We have found that the stoichiometry and index of refraction was not sensitive to oxidant ratio for a wide range of conditions in contrast to other studies. Stoichiometric SiO 2 films, with good physical properties, were grown for a much wider range of oxidant ratios relative to those which are characteristic of the rf PECVD technique. In addition, films grown under optimal conditions had infrared absorption spectra nearly identical to those of thermally grown oxides and index of refraction of 1.456, as measured by ellipsometry. We concluded that by using an ECR microwave plasma, SiO2 films with optical and bonding properties comparable to oxides thermally grown at 1000 °C in dry oxygen can be deposited at a low temperature (350 °C) and a low pressure (10 -3 Torr) in a O2/SiH4 reactant gas mixture without the need for a carrier gas.

Date

01 Dec 1989

Publication

Journal of Applied Physics

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