Carbon-doped hydrogenated silicon oxide (SiOCH) low-k films have been prepared using 13.56 MHz discharge in trimethylsilane (3MS) - oxygen gas mixtures at 3, 4, and 5 Torr sustained with RF power densities 1.3 − 2.6 W/cm2. The atomic structure of the SiOCH films appears to be a mixture the amorphous SiO2-like and the partially polycrys-talline SiC-like phases. Results of the infra-red spectroscopy reflect the increment in the volume fraction of the SiC-like phase from 0.22 − 0.28 to 0.36 – 0.39 as the RF power increment.
Steady-state near-UV laser-excited (364 nm wavelength, 40±2 mW) photoluminescence (PL) has been studied at room temperatures in the visible (1.8 eV – 3.1 eV) subrange of photon spectrum. Two main bands of the PL signal (at the photon energies of 2.5 – 2.6 eV and 2.8 − 2.9 eV) are observed. Intensities of the both bands are changed monotonically with RF power, whereas the bandwidth of ∼0.1 eV remains almost invariable. It is likely that the above lines are dumped by the non-radiative recombination involving E1-like centres in the amorphous-nanocrystalline SiC-like phases. Such explanation of the PL intensity dependences on the RF power density is supported by results of experimental studies of defect states spectrum in bandgap of the SiOCH films.