Particulate growth processes in Ar+SiH4 RF plasmas are studied using ultraviolet light-absorption and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) methods. Measurements of particulate size and density using the SEM method show that they grow through three phases: Nucleation, rapid growth and growth saturation. Such features of temporal evolutions of their size and density are very similar to those for He+SiH4 RF plasmas previously obtained by SEM and in situ laser light scattering methods. It is also found that particulates in two different size ranges coexist after the initiation of the rapid growth phase, and their coagulation plays an important role in this phase. Close similarities among spatial profiles of Si emission intensity, Si density, and amount of particulates are revealed in wide discharge-parameter ranges of 1–100% SiH4, 11–20 Pa, and 40–100 W. These results suggest that many short-lifetime neutral radicals such as SiH n (n=0–2) contribute to nucleation and subsequent initial growth of a particulate since other short-lifetime radicals are also expected to have similar spatial profiles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)