The physics of plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition for large-area coating: industrial application to flat panel displays and solar cells
Designing plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) reactors to coat large-area glass plates (similar to1 m(2)) for flat panel display or solar cell manufacturing raises challenging issues in physics and chemistry as well as mechanical, thermal, and electrical engineering, and material science. In such reactive glow discharge plasma slabs, excited at RF frequency (from 13.56 MHz up to similar to 100 MHz), the thin-film deposition uniformity is determined by the gas flow distribution, as well as the RF voltage distribution along the electrodes, and by local plasma perturbations at the reactor boundaries. All these aspects can be approached by analytical and numerical modelling. Moreover, the film properties are largely determined by the plasma chemistry involving the neutral radicals contributing to film growth, the effect of ion bombardment, and the formation and trapping of dust triggered by homogeneous nucleation. This paper will review progress in this field, with particular emphasis on modelling developments.