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Synthesis of Silicon Nitride thin films is important in the semiconductor industry. The properties of the films make them valuable for oxidation masks, protection and passivation barrier layers, etch stop layer and inter level insulators. In the present study, we prepared silicon nitride films with different refractive index. We used various conditions of PECVD atmosphere with the purpose of obtaining high quality near stoichiometric films. Different deposition routines were employed, including variable flow ratio of silane and ammonia on to a silicon substrate. The quality and stoichiometry of the film was investigated using reflectance measurements of the films. Measured process parameters were the deposition rate, film thickness, refractive index, breakdown voltage, dielectric constant, surface morphology and film composition. The thickness of the film was measured by using AFM, DEKTAK and ellipsometer measurements. Fitting of reflectance spectra with WVASE ellipsometric software provided us with optical constants for silicon nitride and allowed analysis of the films. A Bruggeman effective medium approximation was utilized to model the refractive index of the films. Reflective measurements were carried out in the range 210 nm-2500 nm.
Date of Conference: 2-5 Nov. 2008