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Thin SixCyNz:H coatings deposited with the RF PECVD method DOI:10.15199/28.2018.4.2

  1. INTRODUCTION Thin amorphous coatings of hydrogenated silicon nitride (SixNy:H) and hydrogenated silicon carbonitride (SixCyNz:H) find numerous industrial applications. This is a consequence of a number of such beneficial properties of these materials as: high wear [1] and chemical [2] resistance, substantial hardness [3], low electrical conductivity [4] and high index of refraction [5]. An additional advantage is a possibility to tailor the values of refractive index and optical gap by affecting their chemical composition [6, 7]. Thanks to that feature, both silicon nitride and silicon carbonitride films are applied as protective and passivation barriers on photovoltaic cells [8], dielectric layers in amorphous silicon based thin film transistors (TFTs) [9÷11], antireflection coatings on crystalline silicon based solar cells [12] and breakdown protection coatings on hard disks [13]. They also find applications as moisture barriers in OLED displays [8, 13, 14] and active materials in biosensor systems [15]. The present work introduces SixCyNz:H coatings synthesized with the help of plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) method driven by radiofrequency (RF) field. As precursor compound, hexamethyldisilazane (HMDSN) has been applied in this work. It is an advantageous substitute for commonly used silane, characterized by explosive properties. HMDSN is safe and its molecule contains both silicon as well as nitrogen atoms. The work presents a relationship between the RF power of glow discharge used to deposit films and these films’ chemical composition and optical properties. Deposition processes were performed within the RF power range of 300 to 550 Watt. A mixture of nitrogen, ammonia and hydrogen was used as a working atmosphere. The presence of the latter gas strongly affects plasma chemistry. A thickness of the coatings, their refractive index and extinction coefficient were determined with the help of VAS[...]

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