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Arup Jyoti Choudhury, Shruti A. Barve, Joyanti Chutia, Hemen Kakati, Arup Ratan Pal, Jagannath Jagannath, N Mithal, R Kishore, M Pandey, Dinkar S. Patil

Effect of impinging ion energy on the substrates during deposition of SiOx films by radiofrequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition process

Thin Solid Films 519 (2011) 7864-7870

Radiofrequency (13.56 MHz) plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition process is used for deposition of SiO(x) films on bell metal substrates using Ar/hexamethyldisiloxane/O(2) glow discharge. The DC self-bias voltage developed on the substrates is observed to be varied from -35 V to -115 V depending on the RF power applied to the plasma. Plasma potential measurements during film deposition process are carried out by self-compensated emissive probe. The deposited films are characterized by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), nanoindentation, nano-scratch test and thermogravimetric analysis. The characterization results show strong dependency of the SiO(x) films properties on the energy of the ions impinging on the substrates during deposition. Analysis of Raman spectra indicates an increase in vitreous silica content and reduction in defective Si-O-Si chemical structure in the deposited SiO(x) films with increasing ion energy impinging on the substrate! s. The increase in inorganic (Si and O) content in the SiO(x) films is further confirmed from XPS analysis. The growth of SiO(x) films with more inorganic content and defect free chemical structure apparently contribute to the increase in their hardness and scratch resistance behavior. The films show higher thermal stability as the energy of the ions arriving at substrates increases with DC self-bias voltage. The possibility of using SiO(x) films for surface protection of bell metal is also explored. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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