Journal article

Infrared laser-based monitoring of the silane dissociation during deposition of silicon thin films

The silane dissociation efficiency, or depletion fraction, is an important plasma parameter by means of which the film growth rate and the amorphous-to-microcrystalline silicon transition regime can be monitored in situ. In this letter we implement a homebuilt quantum cascade laser-based absorption spectrometer to measure the silane dissociation efficiency in an industrial plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition system. This infrared laser-based diagnostic technique is compact, sensitive, and nonintrusive. Its resolution is good enough to resolve Doppler-broadened rotovibrational absorption lines of silane. The latter feature various absorption strengths, thereby enabling depletion measurements over a wide range of process conditions.

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