Quantitative Auger depth profiling of LPCVD and PECVD silicon nitride films

Enrico G. Keim, Kamal Aïte, Kamal Aïte

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Thin silicon nitride films (100–210 nm) with refractive indices varying from 1.90 to 2.10 were deposited on silicon substrates by low pressure chemical vapour deposition (LPCVD) and plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), ellipsometry, surface profiling measurements and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) in combination with Ar+ sputtering were used to characterize these films. We have found that the use of (p-p)heights of the Si LVV and N KLL Auger transitions in the first derivative of the energy distribution (dN(E)/dE) leads to an accurate determination of the silicon nitride composition in Auger depth profiles over a wide range of atomic Si/N ratios. Moreover, we have shown that the Si KLL Auger transition, generally considered to be a better probe than the low energy Si LVV Auger transition in determining the chemical composition of silicon nitride layers, leads to deviating results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-321
JournalFresenius' Zeitschrift für analytische Chemie
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • IR-85959
  • METIS-303555


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