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Low-temperature silicon nitride for thin-film electronics on polyimide foil substrates

Gleskova, H. and Wagner, S. and Gašparík, V. and Kováč, P. (2001) Low-temperature silicon nitride for thin-film electronics on polyimide foil substrates. Applied Surface Science, 175-176. pp. 12-16. ISSN 0169-4332

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We optimized silicon nitride (SiN x) layers, deposited by 13.56 MHz plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) at 150°C, to provide a high quality gate dielectric layer for the amorphous silicon thin film technology on polyimide foils. The layers were deposited from mixtures of silane, ammonia, and hydrogen. We varied the H 2 flow rate from 55 to 220 sccm and the rf power from 5 to 50 W, while the pressure was kept at 500 mTorr and the ratio of ammonia to silane flow at 10:1. The best film was obtained from the gas composition of SiH 4:NH 3:H 2 = 1:10:44 and the rf power of ∼20 W. This film grows at the rate of 1.5 Å/s, has a refractive index n = 1.80, a dielectric constant ε = 7.46, a dielectric breakdown field >3.4 MV/cm, a Si/N ratio of ∼0.67, and a hydrogen content of ∼2 × 10 22cm -3, and etches in 10:1 buffered HF at a rate of 61 Å/s.