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Title: Microstructure factor and mechanical and electronic properties of hydrogenated amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon thin-films for microelectromechanical systems applications

Thin-film silicon allows the fabrication of MEMS devices at low processing temperatures, compatible with monolithic integration in advanced electronic circuits, on large-area, low-cost, and flexible substrates. The most relevant thin-film properties for applications as MEMS structural layers are the deposition rate, electrical conductivity, and mechanical stress. In this work, n{sup +}-type doped hydrogenated amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon thin-films were deposited by RF-PECVD, and the influence of the hydrogen dilution in the reactive mixture, the RF-power coupled to the plasma, the substrate temperature, and the deposition pressure on the structural, electrical, and mechanical properties of the films was studied. Three different types of silicon films were identified, corresponding to three internal structures: (i) porous amorphous silicon, deposited at high rates and presenting tensile mechanical stress and low electrical conductivity, (ii) dense amorphous silicon, deposited at intermediate rates and presenting compressive mechanical stress and higher values of electrical conductivity, and (iii) nanocrystalline silicon, deposited at very low rates and presenting the highest compressive mechanical stress and electrical conductivity. These results show the combinations of electromechanical material properties available in silicon thin-films and thus allow the optimized selection of a thin silicon film for a given MEMS application. Four representative silicon thin-films weremore » chosen to be used as structural material of electrostatically actuated MEMS microresonators fabricated by surface micromachining. The effect of the mechanical stress of the structural layer was observed to have a great impact on the device resonance frequency, quality factor, and actuation force.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores – Microsistemas e Nanotecnologias (INESC-MN) and IN – Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 1000-029 Lisbon (Portugal)
  2. (IST), 1049-001 Lisbon (Portugal)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22259296
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 18; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; CHEMICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION; CRYSTALS; DEPOSITS; DILUTION; DOPED MATERIALS; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS; FABRICATION; HYDROGENATION; MACHINING; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; MICROSTRUCTURE; NANOSTRUCTURES; NITROGEN IONS; POROUS MATERIALS; QUALITY FACTOR; SILICON; SUBSTRATES; THERMAL STRESSES; THIN FILMS