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Jaroslav Hnilica, Jan Schaefer, Ruediger Foest, Lenka Zajíčková, Vít Kudrle

PECVD of nanostructured SiO2 in a modulated microwave plasma jet at atmospheric pressure

Journal of Physics D 46 (2013) 8

Atmospheric pressure plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (AP-PECVD) of thin films by means of a microwave plasma jet operating with mixtures of argon and tetrakis(trimethylsilyloxy) silane (TTMS) is reported for the first time. In contrast to other siloxy-alkanes that are commonly used for PECVD, the molecule of TTMS (C12H36O4Si5) exhibits a complex and symmetric molecular structure which is presumably essential for a large scale nanostructuring of the films. Deposited films have been characterized by means of electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR). The applied methods demonstrate the prevalent inorganic SiO2-like character of the films and their highly fractalized nanostructure over a wide range of dimension 10(0)-10(4) nm. Contact angle measurements show the superhydrophobicity of the films, while the dispersive component of the surface energy can be varied in a controlled way by low-frequency amplitude modulation of the excitation power of the MW discharge. The modulation regimes of the jet have been investigated by means of time-resolved optical emission spectroscopy in order and relative emission of silicon atoms to substantiate the reproducibility of the deposition conditions and to correlate the plasma properties with the resulting film properties.

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