Characterization of nitrogen-rich silicon nitride films grown by the electron cyclotron resonance plasma technique

Journal ar
Semiconductor Science and Technology
  • Volumen: 18
  • Número: 7
  • Fecha: 01 July 2003
  • Páginas: 633-641
  • ISSN: 02681242
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1088/0268-1242/18/7/306
  • Document Type: Article
Amorphous hydrogenated silicon nitride films have been deposited by the electron cyclotron resonance plasma technique, using N2 and SiH4 as precursor gases. The gas flow ratio, deposition temperature and microwave power have been varied in order to study their effect on the properties of the films, which were characterized by Rutherford back-scattering spectrometry, elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and ellipsometry. All samples show N/Si ratios near or above the stoichiometric value (N/Si = 1.33). The hydrogen content determined from ERDA measurements is significantly higher than the amount detected by infrared spectroscopy, evidencing the presence of non-bonded H. As the N2/SiH4 gas flow ratio is increased (by decreasing the SiH4 partial pressure), the Si content decreases and the N-H concentration increases, while the N content remains constant, resulting in an increase of the N/Si ratio. The decrease of the Si content causes a decrease of the refractive index and the density of the film, while the growth ratio also decreases due to the limiting factor of the SiH4 partial pressure. The infrared Si-N stretching band shifts to higher wavenumbers as the N-H concentration increases. The increase of deposition temperature promotes the release of H, resulting in a higher incorporation of N and Si into the film and a decrease of the N/Si ratio. The effect of increasing the microwave power is analogous to increasing the N2/SiH4 ratio, due to the increase in the proportion of nitrogen activated species.

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