A global model study of silane/hydrogen discharges

Stephan Danko, Dirk Bluhm, Valentin Bolsinger, Wladislaw Dobrygin, Oliver Schmidt, Ralf Peter Brinkmann

Plas­ma Sour­ces Sci. Tech­nol. 22, 055009 (2013)


An algorithm to automatically build a general global chemical model on the basis of a set of chemical reactions is developed for capacitively coupled discharges. The methodology is applied to silane/hydrogen discharge regimes relevant for the deposition of microcrystalline silicon thin films for solar cell fabrication. The input parameters of the model are merely the process conditions such as absorbed power, pressure, gas flow, gas mixture and gap distance as well as the electron energy distribution function. Computational time is less than 30 s for an analytical description of the electron energy distribution and less than 40 s in the case of a look-up table for one set of process parameters for a silane/hydrogen gas mixture. The electron Boltzmann equation solver BOLSIG+ is used to determine the most appropriate electron energy distribution depending on different process conditions of this application. The numerical results of the global model are compared with measurements of silane depletion from the literature and show good agreement. A wide range of process conditions relevant for the deposition of thin-film silicon is covered. An analysis of the effect of different process conditions on the resulting plasma composition is performed. This shows the potential of a global model for silane/hydrogen discharges.


Tags: global model, silane/hydrogen