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Thick poly-SiGe layers, deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), are very promising structural layers for use in microaccelerometers, microgyroscopes or for thin-film encapsulation, especially for applications where the thermal budget is limited. In this work it is shown for the first time that these layers are an attractive alternative to low-pressure CVD (LPCVD) poly-Si or poly-SiGe because of their high growth rate (100-200 nm/min) and low deposition temperature (520°C-590°C). The combination of both of these features is impossible to achieve with either LPCVD SiGe (2-30 nm/min growth rate) or LPCVD poly-Si (annealing temperature higher than 900°C to achieve structural layer having low tensile stress). Additional advantages are that no nucleation layer is needed (deposition directly on SiO2 is possible) and that the as-deposited layers are polycrystalline. No stress or dopant activation anneal of the structural layer is needed since in situ phosphorus doping gives an as-deposited tensile stress down to 20 MPa, and a resistivity of 10 mΩ-cm to 30 mΩ-cm. With in situ boron doping, resistivities down to 0.6 mΩ-cm are possible. The use of these films as an encapsulation layer above an accelerometer is shown.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2003