Production of nanometric particles in radio frequency glow discharges in mixtures of silane and methane
Abstract: The formation of silicon particles in rf glow discharges has attracted attention due to their effect as a contaminant during film deposition or etching. However, silicon and silicon alloy powders produced by plasma‐enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) are promising new materials for sintering ceramics, for making nanoscale filters, or for supporting catalytic surfaces. Common characteristics of these powders are their high purity and the easy control of their stoichiometry through the composition of the precursor gas mixture. Plasma parameters also influence their structure. Nanometric powders of silicon–carbon alloys exhibiting microstructural properties such as large hydrogen content and high surface/volume ratio have been produced in a PECVD reactor using mixtures of silane and methane at low pressure (<1 Torr) and low frequency square‐wave modulated rf power (13.56 MHz). The a‐Si1−xCx:H powders were obtained from different precursor gas mixtures, from R=0.05 to R=9, where R=[SiH4]/([SiH4]+[CH4])...
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