PECVD of hexamethyldisiloxane coatings using extremely asymmetric capacitive RF discharge

An extremely asymmetric low-pressure discharge was used to study the composition of thin films prepared by PECVD using HMDSO as a precursor. The metallic chamber was grounded, while the powered electrode was connected to an RF generator. The ratio between the surface area of the powered and grounded electrode was about 0.03. Plasma and thin films were characterised by optical spectroscopy and XPS depth profiling, respectively. Dense luminous plasma expanded about 1 cm from the powered electrode while a visually uniform diffusing plasma of low luminosity occupied the entire volume of the discharge chamber. Experiments were performed at HMDSO partial pressure of 10 Pa and various oxygen partial pressures. At low discharge power and small oxygen concentration, a rather uniform film was deposited at different treatment times up to a minute. In these conditions, the film composition depended on both parameters. At high powers and oxygen partial pressures, the films exhibited rather unusual behaviour since the depletion of carbon was observed at prolonged deposition times. The results were explained by spontaneous changing of plasma parameters, which was in turn explained by the formation of dust in the gas phase and corresponding interaction of plasma radicals with dust particles.

Materials 2020, 13(9), 2147;