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Understanding the Mechanism of SiC Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) and Developing Routes toward SiC Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) with Density Functional Theory

Filatova, Ekaterina A., Hausmann, Dennis, Elliott, Simon D.
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.17 pp. 15216-15225
carbon, chemical bonding, density functional theory, materials science, methane, silane, silica, silicon, silicon carbide, thermodynamics, vapors
Understanding the mechanism of SiC chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is an important step in investigating the routes toward future atomic layer deposition (ALD) of SiC. The energetics of various silicon and carbon precursors reacting with bare and H-terminated 3C-SiC (011) are analyzed using ab initio density functional theory (DFT). Bare SiC is found to be reactive to silicon and carbon precursors, while H-terminated SiC is found to be not reactive with these precursors at 0 K. Furthermore, the reaction pathways of silane plasma fragments SiH₃ and SiH₂ are calculated along with the energetics for the methane plasma fragments CH₃ and CH₂. SiH₃ and SiH₂ fragments follow different mechanisms toward Si growth, of which the SiH₃ mechanism is found to be more thermodynamically favorable. Moreover, both of the fragments were found to show selectivity toward the Si–H bond and not C–H bond of the surface. On the basis of this, a selective Si deposition process is suggested for silicon versus carbon-doped silicon oxide surfaces.