PEVCD: All about Plasma-Enhanced Deposition

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Summary: Utilizing electrical energy at lower temperatures are what makes PECVD a popular alternative for film deposition.

An alternative for thin film deposition at lower temperatures is by using Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Here is a brief description on how this technique provides ideal quality in comparison to other processes.

Because of its lower temperatures many believed that there would be a sacrifice in the quality of the applied film. PECVD utilizes electrical energy to transfer plasma into the gas mixture. The flexibility of this deposition technique is excellent as it can be utilized for every process that its CVD counterparts are able to do but at a low temperature level. For example, a range of 600-800 degrees centigrade is needed to deposit silicon dioxide films using CVD. With PECVD’s electrical energy output, it can create a similar film at a temperature that is within 300-600 degrees centigrade. That’s the same quality but at a temperature that’s almost split in half. Properties of PECVD films include uniformity, good adhesion, and low density. Certain modifications can be made during the process as adjusting process parameters during the deposition can make changes to its uniformity and thickness. This gives engineers options and versatility.

Primarily used for depositing dielectric films and passivation films, they can also be used for poly-Silicon as well. A modern-day use for PECVD film layers are solar cell manufacturing. By applying this method, one can achieve better light incidence angles.

With vacuum deposition systems continuing to evolve with more advanced deposition techniques, new methods for the application of film are constantly being tried and tested. Don’t blink; you might fall behind on the latest developments.