Skip to Main Content
We present a methodology for real-time control of thin-film carbon content in a plasma-enhanced metal-organic chemical vapor deposition process using combination of online gas phase measurements obtained through optical emission spectroscopy and off-line (ex situ) measurements of film composition obtained via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Initially, an estimation model of carbon content of ZrO2 thin films based on real-time optical emission spectroscopy data is presented. Then, a feedback control scheme, which employs the proposed estimation model and a proportional-integral controller, is developed to achieve carbon content control. Using this approach, a real-time control system is developed and implemented on an experimental electron cyclotron resonance high-density plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition system to demonstrate the effectiveness of real-time feedback control of carbon content. Experimental results of depositions and XPS analysis of deposited thin films under both open-loop and closed-loop operations are shown and compared. The advantages of operating the process under real-time feedback control in terms of robust operation and lower carbon content are demonstrated.