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Oxidation study of hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide films

  • W. K. Choi (a1), L. P. Lee (a1) and C. C. Leoy (a1)


We present results of an oxidation study of a-Si1−xCx:H films prepared by the plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition of silane and acetylene. The composition (i.e. x) of the samples was determined by the flow rates of silane and acetylene. Oxidation was carried out at 400 to 850°C in dry oxygen ambient. The infrared (IR) spectra of the as-prepared films showed the intensity of the Si-C peak decreases and the Si-CH3 peak increases as x increases. The Si-H peak shifts to higher frequency as x increases. Note that the incorporation of CH3 radicals in a-Si1−xCx:H films has shown to introduce voids and increased the porosity of the films. The IR spectra of the oxidized samples showed clear Si-O stretching and rocking/wagging modes for all films. We suggest that the growth of oxide on a-Si1−xCx:H is a result of voids that facilitate the diffusion of oxidants into the film. We shown that the activation energy, obtained from the linear rate region of the oxide growth, was far less than the dissociation energies of the Si-Si, Si-C and Si-H bonds. We suggest that this could be due to the amorphous nature of the samples that caused the various chemical bonds to be weaker during oxidation.



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