Hydrogenated amorphous SiC (a-SiC:H) is an attractive material for MEMS applications where high robustness or operation in harsh environments is targeted. In previous publications, it was demonstrated, that the properties of a-SiC:H thin films can be tailored over a wide range by changing the auxiliary table excitation power of a dual plasma source deposition process using an inductively coupled plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition system. In this work, the annealing behavior of dual plasma source deposited a-SiC:H thin films under argon atmosphere is investigated by using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy for chemical analysis. All investigated layers show a decrease of hydrogen containing bonds (X-Hx) and an increase of Si-C bonds with increasing annealing temperature in the FT-IR spectrum. This behaviour is directly linked to the effusion of hydrogen from the thin films at elevated temperatures. In addition, films deposited at higher auxiliary plasma power show more X-Hx and less Si-C bonds, indicating a higher hydrogen amount in those films. All layers shrink with increasing annealing temperature due to the effusion of hydrogen with a stronger shrink at higher PT values caused by the increased hydrogen amount. This shrink also leads to a densification of the thin films.
Tobias Frischmuth, Michael Schneider, Thomas Grille, and U. Schmid, "FT-IR analysis of high temperature annealing effects in a-SiC:H thin films," Proc. SPIE 10246, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VIII, 102460R (Presented at SPIE Microtechnologies: May 10, 2017; Published: 14 June 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2266844.
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