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Effect of glow DBD modulation on gas and thin film chemical composition: case of Ar/SiH4/NH3 mixture

Abstract : In recent years, atmospheric pressure plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition has been identified as a convenient way to deposit good quality thin films. With this type of process, where the gas mixture is injected on one side of the electrodes, the chemical composition of the gas evolves with the gas residence time in the plasma. The consequence is a possible gradient in the chemical composition over the thickness of in-line coatings. The present work shows that the modulation of the plasma with a square signal significantly reduces this gradient while the drawback of low growth rate is avoided by increasing the discharge power. This study deals with plane/plane glow dielectric barrier discharges (DBDs) in an Ar/NH3/SiH4 gas mixture to make thin films. The 50 kHz discharge power of the glow DBD was varied by increasing voltage and modulating excitation. The impact on (i) the plasma development was observed through emission spectroscopy and (ii) the thin film coating through Fourier transform infrared measurements. It is shown that the modulation significantly decreases the time and the energy needed to achieve stable chemistry, enhances secondary chemistry and limits disturbance induced by impurities because of a slower decrease of SiH4 concentration and thus a higher ratio of SiH4/impurities, all very important points for in-line AP-PECVD development. When the growth rate is limited by diffusion, coating growth continues when the discharge is off, so long as there is a precursor gradient between the surface and the gas bulk. A higher discharge power steepens this gradient, which enhances diffusion from the bulk and thus growth rate.
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Julien Vallade, Rémy Bazinette, Laura Gaudy, Françoise F. Massines. Effect of glow DBD modulation on gas and thin film chemical composition: case of Ar/SiH4/NH3 mixture. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, IOP Publishing, 2014, 47 (22), ⟨10.1088/0022-3727/47/22/224006⟩. ⟨hal-01223237⟩



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