Plasma coatings

Silicon nitride layers, Quartz layers

The breaking edge of a silicon wafer shows the silicon nitride barrier layer in a microstructure. (c)
The breaking edge of a silicon wafer shows the silicon nitride barrier layer in a microstructure. The entire surface of the trench is lined with a homogeneous barrier.
Transmission electron microscope image (TEM) of a multilayer coating of silicon oxide SiOx and silicon carboxide SiOxCy.  (c)
Transmission electron microscope image (TEM) of a multilayer coating of silicon oxide SiOx and silicon carboxide SiOxCy. This alternating structure is only created by precisely coordinated repeated switching of the gas composition.

Silicon nitride layers

Silicon nitride Si3N4 is a ceramic material, which is characterized by a high temperature resistance and high hardness. If it is deposited in a plasma process an amorphous layer structure results which above all has a large barrier effect against metal atoms. Silicon nitride is therefore often used as a diffusion barrier in semiconductor technology. In addition, silicon nitride layers are used on silicon solar cells as they minimize the loss of carrier losses through a passivation of the silicon surface and increase the cell efficiency.

Quartz layers

Quartz SiO2 is known as a hard and transparent material. Its temperature and chemical resistance makes it suitable for corrosion protection and hard coatings as well as for coatings in optics and microelectronics. Plasma-technologically produced quartz and quartz-like coatings can be tailored to the respective requirements by selecting the deposition conditions from soft polymer-like to hard polycrystalline layers. Multilayer coatings for optical filters are created by recurring changes in the gas composition during the plasma process.

Matthias Walker
Dr.-Ing.

Matthias Walker

Head of Administration / Head of Plasma Technology

Andreas Schulz
Dr.-Ing.

Andreas Schulz

Research associate, Plasma Technology

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