Characterization and comparison of silicon nitride films deposited using two novel processes

Vivek Sharma, Adam Bailey, Bill Dauksher, Clarence Tracy, Stuart Bowden, Barry O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Hydrogenated silicon nitride films (SiN x:H) deposited using a PECVD process enhance the performance of crystalline silicon solar cells by functioning as an efficient antireflection coating and passivating layer. In this paper, we compared two SiN x:H novel deposition processes using two different PECVD tools-one nontraditional in process regime and the other nontraditional in type-to determine their suitability to solar cell fabrication. The parameter space was explored by employing a design of experiment methodology followed by material characterization using variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry, reflectance, FTIR, RBS and elastic recoil detection. The thickness and reflectance of Si-rich films changed dramatically after annealing. Further, FTIR results showed that the Si-H bond peak present at 2160 cm -1 in such films disappeared after a typical Al firing step. Therefore, the optimized films were deposited with a lower SiH 4/NH 3 ratio to minimize the changes in the film properties after annealing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021201
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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