The growth of nanoparticles between electrodes in a pulsed very high frequency (VHF) SiH4-H2 plasma under hydrogenated microcryst. Si (micro c-Si:H) growth conditions was studied by time-resolved cavity ringdown (t-CRD) spectroscopy. The light absorption of SiH3 radicals and the light scattering and absorption of nanoparticles were measured in the UV spectral range (220 and 280 nm). The contribution of the SiH3 radicals and nanoparticles to the measured cavity loss could be distinguished by (1) varying the wavelength of the probe laser pulse, (2) using time-resolved information of the SiH3 radicals and the nanoparticle d., (3) the measured spatial distribution of the species between the electrodes, and (4) the dependence of these distributions on the electrode temp. From the time evolution of cavity loss related to the nanoparticles growing in plasma, the authors can det. whether the light losses of the nanoparticles are in the Rayleigh or Mie regime. These measurements provide information on typical particle size. Addnl. SEM analyses, which reveal the evolution of the nanoparticle size distribution with time, corroborate the results obtained by t-CRD. The spatial distribution of the SiH3 radical d. and the electrode temp. dependence of the nanoparticles between the electrodes were studied. These results are discussed in terms of the dominant forces acting on nanoparticles in plasma and the nanoparticle growth mechanism.
Nagai, T., Smets, A. H. M., & Kondo, M. (2008). Formation of SiH3 radicals and nanoparticles in SiH4-H2 plasmas observed by time-resolved cavity ringdown spectroscopy. Journal of Applied Physics, 47(9), 7032-7043. https://doi.org/10.1143/JJAP.47.7032