Environmental stability and cryogenic thermal cycling of low-temperature plasma-deposited silicon nitride thin films

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Abstract

Stress in low-temperature plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited silicon nitride (SiNx) thin films subject to cryogenic thermal cycling (100-323 K) has been measured. It is observed that the SiNx deposition temperature strongly influences the thin film characteristics. For films deposited between 200 and 300 degrees C, the thermal expansion coefficient is similar to that of silicon over the 180-323 K temperature range. The room temperature thermal expansion coefficient of SiNx films is found to decrease sublinearly from 5.2x10(-6) to 2.6x10(-6) K-1 as the temperature of the deposition process is increased from 50 to 300 degrees C. The negative correlation between deposition temperature and thin film thermal expansion coefficient, and the positive correlation between deposition temperature and the thin film Young's modulus inferred from nanoindentation are postulated to be associated with the local bonding environment within the thin film. The stress state of SiNx films deposited above 150 degrees C is stable under atmospheric conditions, in contrast to SiNx films deposited below 100 degrees C, which under atmospheric storage conditions become more tensile with time due to oxidation. In addition, SiNx thin films deposited below 100 degrees C exhibit higher tensile stress values in vacuum than at atmospheric pressure, and vacuum annealing at 50 degrees C of films deposited below 100 degrees C introduces further tensile stress changes. These stress changes have been shown to be fully reversible upon reexposure to high purity nitrogen, helium, argon, oxygen, or laboratory atmosphere, and are likely to be associated with thin film porosity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)053519-1 to 053519-9
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume99
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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cold plasmas
silicon nitrides
cryogenics
cycles
thin films
thermal expansion
tensile stress
coefficients
temperature
vacuum
meteorology
nanoindentation
modulus of elasticity
atmospheric pressure
purity
helium
argon
vapors
porosity
nitrogen

Cite this

@article{24187f1491874374aafb150edc14c9a6,
title = "Environmental stability and cryogenic thermal cycling of low-temperature plasma-deposited silicon nitride thin films",
abstract = "Stress in low-temperature plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited silicon nitride (SiNx) thin films subject to cryogenic thermal cycling (100-323 K) has been measured. It is observed that the SiNx deposition temperature strongly influences the thin film characteristics. For films deposited between 200 and 300 degrees C, the thermal expansion coefficient is similar to that of silicon over the 180-323 K temperature range. The room temperature thermal expansion coefficient of SiNx films is found to decrease sublinearly from 5.2x10(-6) to 2.6x10(-6) K-1 as the temperature of the deposition process is increased from 50 to 300 degrees C. The negative correlation between deposition temperature and thin film thermal expansion coefficient, and the positive correlation between deposition temperature and the thin film Young's modulus inferred from nanoindentation are postulated to be associated with the local bonding environment within the thin film. The stress state of SiNx films deposited above 150 degrees C is stable under atmospheric conditions, in contrast to SiNx films deposited below 100 degrees C, which under atmospheric storage conditions become more tensile with time due to oxidation. In addition, SiNx thin films deposited below 100 degrees C exhibit higher tensile stress values in vacuum than at atmospheric pressure, and vacuum annealing at 50 degrees C of films deposited below 100 degrees C introduces further tensile stress changes. These stress changes have been shown to be fully reversible upon reexposure to high purity nitrogen, helium, argon, oxygen, or laboratory atmosphere, and are likely to be associated with thin film porosity.",
author = "Mariusz Martyniuk and Jarek Antoszewski and Charles Musca and John Dell and Lorenzo Faraone",
year = "2006",
doi = "10.1063/1.2179969",
language = "English",
volume = "99",
pages = "053519--1 to 053519--9",
journal = "J. Applied Physics",
issn = "0021-8979",
publisher = "ACOUSTICAL SOC AMER AMER INST PHYSICS",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Environmental stability and cryogenic thermal cycling of low-temperature plasma-deposited silicon nitride thin films

AU - Martyniuk, Mariusz

AU - Antoszewski, Jarek

AU - Musca, Charles

AU - Dell, John

AU - Faraone, Lorenzo

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Stress in low-temperature plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited silicon nitride (SiNx) thin films subject to cryogenic thermal cycling (100-323 K) has been measured. It is observed that the SiNx deposition temperature strongly influences the thin film characteristics. For films deposited between 200 and 300 degrees C, the thermal expansion coefficient is similar to that of silicon over the 180-323 K temperature range. The room temperature thermal expansion coefficient of SiNx films is found to decrease sublinearly from 5.2x10(-6) to 2.6x10(-6) K-1 as the temperature of the deposition process is increased from 50 to 300 degrees C. The negative correlation between deposition temperature and thin film thermal expansion coefficient, and the positive correlation between deposition temperature and the thin film Young's modulus inferred from nanoindentation are postulated to be associated with the local bonding environment within the thin film. The stress state of SiNx films deposited above 150 degrees C is stable under atmospheric conditions, in contrast to SiNx films deposited below 100 degrees C, which under atmospheric storage conditions become more tensile with time due to oxidation. In addition, SiNx thin films deposited below 100 degrees C exhibit higher tensile stress values in vacuum than at atmospheric pressure, and vacuum annealing at 50 degrees C of films deposited below 100 degrees C introduces further tensile stress changes. These stress changes have been shown to be fully reversible upon reexposure to high purity nitrogen, helium, argon, oxygen, or laboratory atmosphere, and are likely to be associated with thin film porosity.

AB - Stress in low-temperature plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited silicon nitride (SiNx) thin films subject to cryogenic thermal cycling (100-323 K) has been measured. It is observed that the SiNx deposition temperature strongly influences the thin film characteristics. For films deposited between 200 and 300 degrees C, the thermal expansion coefficient is similar to that of silicon over the 180-323 K temperature range. The room temperature thermal expansion coefficient of SiNx films is found to decrease sublinearly from 5.2x10(-6) to 2.6x10(-6) K-1 as the temperature of the deposition process is increased from 50 to 300 degrees C. The negative correlation between deposition temperature and thin film thermal expansion coefficient, and the positive correlation between deposition temperature and the thin film Young's modulus inferred from nanoindentation are postulated to be associated with the local bonding environment within the thin film. The stress state of SiNx films deposited above 150 degrees C is stable under atmospheric conditions, in contrast to SiNx films deposited below 100 degrees C, which under atmospheric storage conditions become more tensile with time due to oxidation. In addition, SiNx thin films deposited below 100 degrees C exhibit higher tensile stress values in vacuum than at atmospheric pressure, and vacuum annealing at 50 degrees C of films deposited below 100 degrees C introduces further tensile stress changes. These stress changes have been shown to be fully reversible upon reexposure to high purity nitrogen, helium, argon, oxygen, or laboratory atmosphere, and are likely to be associated with thin film porosity.

U2 - 10.1063/1.2179969

DO - 10.1063/1.2179969

M3 - Article

VL - 99

SP - 053519-1 to 053519-9

JO - J. Applied Physics

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SN - 0021-8979

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