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Numerical Modeling of Silicon Particle Nucleation and Growth in Chemically Reacting Argon-Silane RF Plasma

By Pulkit Agarwal and Steven L. Girshick


We have developed a 1-D, transient numerical model of a radio frequency (RF) argon-silane plasma in which silicon particles nucleate and grow. This model self-consistently couples a plasma module, a chemistry module and an aerosol module. The plasma module solves population balance equations for electrons and ions, the electron energy equation under the assumption of a Maxwellian velocity distribution, and Poisson’s equation for the electric field. In previous work, we did not model chemistry but instead assumed parameterized rates of nucleation and particle surface growth.[1-3] In the present work we calculate particle nucleation and surface growth rates using a plasma chemistry module, which treats silane dissociation and reactions of silicon hydrides containing up to two silicon atoms. The nucleation rate is equated to the rates of formation of anions containing two silicon atoms, and a heterogeneous reaction model is used to model particle surface growth. The aerosol module uses a sectional method to model particle size and charge distributions. Effects considered include particle charging, coagulation, and particle transport by neutral drag, ion drag, electric force, gravity and Brownian diffusion. Predicted particle size distributions (color contours) and average particle charge (whit

Year: 2013
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