This paper deals with the growth process of nanostructured silicon films produced by chemical vapour deposition technique, at or close to the γ-regime where powders are formed. There, besides the set of chemical reactions undertaken by the species decomposed on the growth surface, the importance of the physics of the plasma in managing the powders and on the final film performances will be shown. To identify the plasma region where Si nanoaggregates are formed, we propose the use of a new parameter that translates the energy coupling of the rf power to the species of the gas flow, per pressure range of the process. By doing so we could establish an excellent correlation between this ratio and the plasma parameters such as peak to peak rf voltage and plasma impedance, or with the films defect density and their transport properties. Apart from that, we also show that high compact Si nanoclusters could be grown under moderate ion bombardment. Finally, to allow the growth at high rates of controlled silicon nanostructures, a three cycling process based on hot wire chemical vapour deposition and plasma assisting the hot wire technique will be discussed.
- PECVD films
- Silicon thin films