Hydrogen Dependent Surface Morphology Study of Plasma Deposited SiN x :H Films for Two Gas Systems SiH4/NH3 and SiH4/N2

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Partially amorphous silicon nitride thin films were deposited using plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique using the two gas systems: SiH4/NH3 and SiH4/N2. Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy was employed to derive the relative changes in the bonded hydrogen content with increasing flow rates of NH3 and N2. Surface morphology was monitored using atomic force microscopy. Root mean square surface roughness was found to be dependent on the NH3 and N2 flow rates, unlike silicon nitride films deposited by rf magnetron sputtering with variation in (N2/Ar) (Li et al. Thin Solid Films 334 (1998) 140). The discrepancy has been explained in the light of bonded hydrogen content in these films. The X-ray diffraction technique has also been used to observe the phases of the nitride films which showed the presence of silicon nitride grains oriented in (200), (400) and (221) directions in the predominantly amorphous as-deposited SiN x :H films.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2011.4096

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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