Thermal Oxidation of Silicon in an Afterglow Gas
Low temperature thermal oxidation of silicon is desired for many reasons in device manufacture. Thermal activation alone at temperatures below 700 °C is ineffective. The proposal that other oxidants might act via parallel mechanisms instigated this study in which the thermal process is enhanced by the presence of non-thermally produced oxidants in the afterglow of a microwave gas discharge. Film growth in atmospheric O2, in an O2 afterglow at 1 Torr, and in an O2/NF3 afterglow at 1 Torr is studied. Fluorine containing afterglows are found to enhance film growth at 700 °C compared with that obtained in O2 afterglows, however, at lower temperatures the apparent enhancement vanishes. The effect is attributed to the existence of a concurrent etching reaction. Further, the electrical properties of films grown in the various regimes are discussed.
KeywordsFilm Growth Microwave Discharge Interface Trap Density Thermal Oxidation Process Oxide Growth Rate
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