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5 January 2009 Low-stress PECVD amorphous silicon carbide (α-SiC) layers for biomedical application
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A detailed characterization of PECVD to produce low stress amorphous silicon carbide (α-SiC) layers at high deposition rate has been done and the biomedical applications of α-SiC layers are reported in this paper. By investigating different working principles in high-frequency mode (13.56MHz) and in low frequency mode (380KHz), it is found that deposition in high-frequency mode can achieve low stress layers at high deposition rates due to the structural rearrangement from high HF power, rather than the ion bombardment effect from high LF power which results in high compressive stress for α-SiC layers. Furthermore, the effects of deposition temperature, pressure and reactant gas ratios are also investigated and then an optimal process is achieved to produce low stress α-SiC layers with high deposition rates. To characterize the PECVD α-SiC layers from optimized process, a series of wet etching experiments in KOH and HF solutions have been completed. The very low etching rates of PECVD α-SiC layers in these two solutions show the good chemical inertness and suitability for masking layers in micromachining. Moreover, cell culture tests by seeding fibroblast NIH3T3 cells on the monocrystalline SiC, low-stress PECVD α-SiC released membranes and non-released PECVD α-SiC films on silicon substrates have been done to check the feasibility of PECVD α-SiC layers as substrate materials for biomedical applications. The results indicate that PECVD α-SiC layers are good for cell culturing, especially after treated in NH4F.
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Jiashen Wei, Bangtao Chen, Daniel P. Poenar, Yong Yeow Lee, and Ciprian Iliescu "Low-stress PECVD amorphous silicon carbide (α-SiC) layers for biomedical application", Proc. SPIE 7269, Micro- and Nanotechnology: Materials, Processes, Packaging, and Systems IV, 72690C (5 January 2009);


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