In this paper we describe the growth of silicon nitride from nitrogen and silane for the first time by capacitively coupled remote PECVD. We report on the effect of process parameters on the composition and properties of the deposited films and we show that by adjustment of these parameters it is possible to produce high-quality material which could be of interest for electronic applications. Of particular note is that the growth rate is about one order of magnitude higher than any previously reported for nitride growth with remote PECVD using molecular nitrogen as the nitrogen source. We also discuss the mechanism of growth and propose that electron excitation of nitrogen and silane occurs in the gas phase, producing SiHx species which are adsorbed on the growing surface. The nitrogen is then incorporated into the layer by heterogeneous reaction.
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