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Electron cyclotron resonance plasma deposition of cubic boron nitride using N-trimethylborazine

: Weber, A.; Bringmann, U.; Nikulkski, R.; Klages, C.-P.


Surface and coatings technology 60 (1993), No.1-3, pp.493-497
ISSN: 0257-8972
International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering <3, 1992, Garmisch-Partenkirchen>
Journal Article, Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IST ()
cubic boron nitride; ECR plasma; growth mechanism; kubisches Bornitrid; N-trimethylborazine; Wachstumsmechanismus

N-Trimethylborazine has been used as precursor in a downstream electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma process to deposit cubic boron nitride (c-BN). N-Trimethylborazine ((CH₃-N-B-H)₃) is a non-corrosive and non-explosive liquid with a low toxicity. As plasma gas an argon-nitrogen mixture was used and N-trimethylborazine vapour was fed into the downstream region of the ECR plasma source. BN deposits on silicon (111) were characterized by IR spectroscopy, electron probe microanalysis and X-ray diffraction. The formation of nanocrystalline c-BN depends strongly on the process parameters and requires a substrate temperature of above 800°C. Furthermore, the application of a negative substrate bias - in our experiments achieved with a low frequency (100–450 kHz) generator - is essential to increase the c-BN fraction of the deposit. As shown by IR spectroscopy, a stepwise transition from hexagonal BN into wurtzite-type BN and finally into c-BN takes place by changing the deposition conditions. From these observations some conclusions concerning the growth mechanism of c-BN can be derived. Owing to the merits of N-trimethylborazine, its processing - compared with that of diborane or boron trihalides - is uncomplicated and promising for future applications of c-BN.