Very High Frequency (VHF) has been applied to the plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) of hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride films (a-SiNx:H) to fabricate amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin film transistors (TFTs). Especially, the effect of the excitation frequency on the deposition rate and the film quality of a-SiNx.H deposited in a SiH4/NH3/N2 plasma has been investigated. The films were prepared by VHF (40 MHz and 60 MHz) and HF (13.56 MHz) plasma enhanced CVD.
The optical bandgap, the hydrogen content, the Si-H/N-H ratio and TFT mobility for films deposited in VHF plasma did not change significantly with the increase in deposition rate up to 300 nm/min. Internal stress could be constrained to acceptable levels at very high deposition rates. In contrast, the film quality deteriorated with an increase of the deposition rate in HF plasma. There seems to be a parallel relation between the optical emission intensity and the deposition rate which depends on the excitation frequency.