Growth processes of particles in a cluster-size range below a few nm in size in low pressure and low power SiH4 rf discharges are studied using the new method, in which the threshold photoemission method is coupled with the microwave interferometry, for measurements of their size and density. The density of particles is above 1010cm-3 and much exceeds that of positive ions, the result of which shows that most of them are neutral. The particles grow mainly around the plasma/sheath boundary near the powered electrode and their size growth rate is 3.4-4.4 nm/s, being much higher than a film growth rate of 0.064-0.12 nm/s. These features strongly indicate that their growth is due to deposition of polymerized species, originated from short lifetime SiH2 radicals, on them, while coagulation between particles becomes appreciable after a time when their density reaches about 1011 cm-3. Moreover, the pulse modulation of rf discharge is found to be effective in reducing the density of cluster-size particles. The reduction can be explained by a model taking account of diffusion of the polymerized species through the radical production region, where the particles nucleate and grow.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)