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Characterization of catalytic chemical vapor-deposited SiCN thin film coatings

Suresh Neethirajan1*, Takahita Ono2 and Esashi Masayoshi2

Author Affiliations

1 Biological Engineering, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

2 Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, 6-6-01 Aramaki-Aza-Aoba, Sendai, 980-8579, Japan

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International Nano Letters 2012, 2:4  doi:10.1186/2228-5326-2-4

Published: 7 June 2012


Silicon carbonitride thin films of 480 to 730-nm thicknesses were grown on silicon substrate using ammonia and hexamethyldisilazane gas sources using catalytic chemical vapor deposition process. Compositions of silicon, carbon and nitrogen in the SiCN films were varied by changing the flow rate of ammonia gas. The effect of deposition conditions on the structural, optical and mechanical properties of SiCN thin films was examined. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis indicated that the higher flow rate of ammonia gas results in higher nitrogen and lower carbon content in the deposited thin films. The measurement of stress as a function of substrate temperature in the SiCN film showed that the stress changes from compressive to tensile in the range of 275°C to 325°C. With these preliminary characterization tests, it is expected that SiCN nano-thin films can be used for developing sensors for harsh environment.

SiCN; Catalytic chemical vapor deposition; Thin films; XPS