In this work we present an ultra-low temperature method for the oxidation of an amorphous silicon-carbide-nitride (SiCN) material. The SiCN is deposited on silicon substrates by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition using CH4, SiH4, and N2 chemistry. The physical and chemical properties are characterized for the as-deposited SiCN and post-oxidized films are discussed. The SiCN film is exposed to oxygen plasma, where it undergoes a chemical transformation into a binary SiO2 material system. A 1.7 nm/min oxidation rate is typical for this process and compares favorably to oxidation methods utilizing much higher temperatures. The substrate temperature remains extremely low throughout the oxidation process, Ts < 200 °C. Changes in film stress, optical constants, film thickness, surface roughness, and film density are measured. Chemical analysis by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is reported for both the as-deposited and oxidized film and confirms the resultant film to be the chemical equivalent of thermally grown SiO2. We discuss applications specifically targeted to the conversion of SiCN to SiO2.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry