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NWO plasma project, contract NWO-RFBS 047.016.018

Investigation of Plasma Induced Cluster Formation and Thin Film Deposition.



The aim of the project is to investigate a fundamental and most actual plasma physics problem, that is the plasma induced generation of clusters and their incorporation in deposited thin films. Although both processes are already widely used in film production technologies (Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PECVD) reactors) and may be used for nano-particle production, the mechanisms behind the structure formation are only understood globally. A deeper insight in the formation of clusters and their incorporation in thin films is needed to fully exploit these processes in industrial applications. A simulation tool useful to assist in control of these should model the processes in the plasma, homogeneous and heterogeneous chemical reactions and gas dynamics processes (convection and diffusion), processes that are strongly coupled and lead to self-organization.
The objectives of this interdisciplinary research involve both experimental and theoretical investigations of self-organizing processes in RF-discharge plasmas and the development of models of the low-temperature plasma-chemical processes in the reactor chamber and processes on the deposited surface layer. A so-called dusty plasma model taking into account nano-particle formation will be developed. Novel plasma-deposition techniques (including nano-sized silicon clusters deposition) for the production of a family of silicon nano-structured films will be studied. Ways to control and optimize the plasma process will be addressed by incorporating the plasma model into a fully three- dimensional model for the gas dynamics. The research activities are scheduled and distributed between participants teams to achieve these objectives.
The following topics will be addressed:
- 2D models (gas dynamics approach and PIC method) for simulation of the plasma processes.
- Development of a model for nano-particle formation and the clustering processes;
- Development of a model for the surface processes leading to the film growth process
- Integration of the models into a 3D gas dynamics description that enables studying the plasma process management and control;
- Validation of the models via experimental investigations silane plasmas exhibiting the self-organized processes of cluster and surface structure formation;
- Experimental investigation of cluster and film properties;
The expected results of the proposed research are as follows:
Scientifically, the study of the self-organized structure formation processes under different conditions will lead to clarification of the fundamental plasma properties. The scientific results of the project will be applicable for simulation of processes in low-pressure PECVD reactors in general.
Due to the interdisciplinary character of the research, its execution will favor progress in a number of important fields; e.g., plasma physics and chemistry, physics of clusters and computer simulation of complicated large scale strongly coupled problems. Technologically, application of newly designed simulation tool will give a wide possibility both for researches in the area and engineers to study the processes of film deposition and particle formation in a variety of reactor geometries.
Self-organization process, plasma chemistry, RF-discharge, thin film deposition, nano-particle formation, experimental investigation, simulation, thin film production technologies

The papers forming the basis of the project

  1. U.J. Nienhuis. W..I. Goedheer, F.A.G, Hamers, W.G.J.H.M. van Sark, and J.Bezemer, A self-consistent fluid model for RF discharges in SiH4-H2 compared to experiments. J. Appl. Phys. Vol.82, 1997,pp.2061-2071.
  2. M. Yan, W.J.Goedheer. Particle-in-Cell/Monte Carlo Simulations of Radio Frequency SiH4/H2 Discharges. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Sciences, Vol. 27, No. 5, October 1999.
  3. M. Yan, W.J.Goedheer. A PIC-MC simulation of the effect of frequency on the characteristics of VHF SiH4/H2 discharges. Plasma Sources Sci.Technol. 8(1999), pp.349-354.
  4. M.Yan, A.Bogaerts,RGijbels, W.J.Goedheer. Kinetic modeling of relaxation phenomena after photodetachment in a rf electronegative SiH4 discharge. Phys.Rev. E, Vol. 63.
  5. M.Yan, A.Bogaerts,RGijbels, W.J.Goedheer. Local and fast relaxation phenomena after laser-induced photodetachment in a strongly electronegative rf discharge. Phys.Rev. E, Vol. 65.
  6. O.Yu.Kravchenko, Yu.I.Chutov,W.J.Goedheer,R.D.Smirnov, S.Takamura. Dusty sheaths in plasmas. Journal of nuclear materials, 313-316 (2003), 1109-1113.
  7. M.Yan, A.Bogaerts, W.J.Goedheer, RGijbels. Electron Energy Distribution Function in capacitively coupled RF discharges: difference between electropositive Ar and electronegative SiH4 discharges. Plasma Sources Sci.Technol. 9 (2000) 583-591.
  8. M.Yan, A.Bogaerts, RGijbels, W.J.Goedheer. Spastial behavior of energy relaxation of electrons in capacitively coupled discharges: Comparison between Ar and SiH4. Journal of Applied Physics, Vol 87, No. 8.
  9. Kraeva M.A., Malyshkin V.E. Assembly Technology for Parallel Realization of Numerical Models on MIMD-Multicomputers.
  10. In the special issue of the International Journal on Future Generation Computer Systems, devoted to Parallel Computing Technologies. Vol. 17 (2001), No. 6, pp.755-765.
  11. Yu.E. Gorbachev, M.A. Zatevakhin. I.D. Kaganovich. Simple model for amorphous silicon film growth from HF-discharge plasma. ESCAMP1G-92, Abstr. of invited lectures and contrib. papers, bl. by Europ- Phys.Soc,, 1992, St.-Petersburg. pp. 425 - 426,
  12. Yu.E. Gorbachev, M.A. Zatevakhin, I.D. Kaganovich. Simulation of the amorphous silicon film growth from HF-discharge plasma. Proc. II International Forum on Heat and Mass Transfer, v. 11, Heat and mass transfer in technological equipment, Minsk, Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer. 1992, pp. 180- 183.
  13. Yu.E. Gorbachev. YU.E. Gorbachev, M.A. Zatevakhin, I.D. Kaganovich, Simulation of the growth of hydrogenated amorphous silicon films from an rf discharge plasma, Tech. Phys. 41 (1996) 1247.
  14. M.A. Zatevakhin, Yu.E. Gorbachev. V.V. Krzhyzhanovskaya. a-Si-.H Film Growth of hydrogenated amorphous silicon films during remote PECVD. Amorphous and microcrystalline semiconductors, All-Russian symposium, S.-Petersburg, 5-9 July 1998. p.24,
  15. Yu.F. Gorbachev. M A. Z.atevakhin. V.V. Krzhizhanovskaya V.A, Schweigert. Special Features of the Growth of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon in PECVD Reactors. Tech, Phys., 45 (2000)1032.
  16. Yu.E. Gorbachev. I.S. Nikitin. Evolution of the cluster size distribution during nucleation with rapidly changing dynamic processes. Tech, Phys.. 45 (2(100)1518.
  17. A.A.Ignatiev. Regular grid generation with mechanical approach. Mathematical Modeling, V. t2,N2,2000.pp. 101-105
  18. A.A. Ignatiev. A Difference Scheme For The Viscous Part ofNavier-Stokes Equations // Mathematical modeling, v. 13, N 8, 2001, pp. 107-116
  19. Gorbachev Yu.E,, Zatevakhin Zatevakliin M.A.. Ignatiev A-A., Krzhizhanovskaya V.V., Protopopov V.Kh., Witenberg A.B. Gorbachev Yu.E., Schweigert V.A, Numerical simulation of the heat and mass transfer processes in PECVD reactors for a-S:H film deposition. XI Inlernational conference on Computational Mechanics and Contemporary Applied Program Systems (CMCAPS-2001), Moscow-Istra, Russia, July 2-6, 2001,Pbl.:MAI,pp. 191-193
  20. Krhizhanovskaya V.V.. Zatevakliin M.A.- Ignatiev A.A,. Gorbachev Y.F., Sloot P.M.A. Distributed Simulation of Silicon-Based Film Growth. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 2328, pp. 879-888. Springer-Verlag 2002. ISBN 3-540-43792-4.

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