Post treatments of plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide for low dielectric constant films

B. Lahlouh, T. Rajagopalan, N. Biswas, J. Sun, D. Huang, S. L. Simon, J. A. Lubguban, S. Gangopadhyay

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Post treatments by annealing or supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO 2) exposure of plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC:H) films are reported to reduce the dielectric constant up to 2.1. The a-SiC:H films were prepared using diethylsilane diluted in methane. The deposition precursors and conditions were chosen to fabricate a thermally unstable a-SiC:H film with a high concentration of CHn (n = 1, 2, 3) functional groups. The Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy measurements of as-deposited films show a-SiC:H networks and presence of a-C:H moieties throughout the film. The films were then annealed in vacuum up to 450 °C to remove thermally unstable CHn as well as other species. After annealing, the dielectric constant of the films decreased from 4.2 up to 2.1 due to the decrease in film density. The reduction suggests the presence of molecular voids/pores. Annealing produced a stable film with thickness decreasing by a maximum of 6% only. SCCO2 treatment was also explored and found to be more effective in the extraction of CHn and other species at 200 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-114
Number of pages6
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 21 2006



  • Chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
  • Dielectrics
  • Heat treatment
  • Silicon carbide

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