Nanometer structures are fabricated with SiN films prepared by plasma-enhanced reactive sputtering using He and Ne Penning effects. These structures are characterized by microscopic and spectroscopic investigations. Films produced with He-N2 and with Ne-N2 gases consist of multilayered structures with columnar and equiaxed layers even though the sputtering conditions are kept constant. The equiaxed layers, which tend to be thin and stressed, are resistant to chemical etching using buffered hydrogen fluoride (BHF) because of the oxygen- and hydrogen-poor structures, whereas the columnar layers consisting of oxygen-rich components are thick and easily etched. The He-N2 film with thickness more than 2 μm basically consists of a simple two-layered structure: a thick columnar layer beneath an equiaxed thin top layer. BHF etching forms closely packed bundles of SiN fibers with mean thickness of 10 nm. The Ne-N2 film consists of a multilayered structure with many layers with thin equiaxed layers inserted between thick columnar layers. The multilayered structure is probably due to two different surface temperatures that were used for depositing alternate layers. The combination of these two complementary structures provides the useful characteristics of high chemical etching resistivity and low film stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)