Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Research and Publications


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Material Research, Vol. 7. No. 8, pp. 2160 - 2181, Aug 1992. © 1992 Materials Research Society. This article can also be viewed at the Journal home page


PECVD reactors are increasingly used for the manufacturing of electronic components. This paper presents a reactor model for the deposition of amorphous hydrogenated silicon in a dc glow discharge of Ar-SiH4 The parallel-plate configuration is used in this study. Electron and positive ion densities have been calculated in a self-consistent way. A macroscopic description that is based on the Boltzmann equation with forwardscattering is used to calculate the ionization rate. The dissociation rate constant of SiH4 requires knowledge about the electron energy distribution function. Maxwell and Druyvesteyn distributions are compared and the numerical results show that the deposition rate is lower for the Druyvesteyn distribution. The plasma chemistry model includes silane, silyl, silylene, disilane, hydrogen, and atomic hydrogen. The sensitivity of the deposition rate toward the branching ratios SiH3 and SiH2 as well as H2 and H during silyl dissociation is examined. Further parameters that are considered in the sensitivity analysis include anode/cathode temperatures, pressure, applied voltage, gap distance, gap length, molar fraction of SiH4, and flow speed. This work offers insight into the effects of all design and control variables.