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Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition is a process used for the deposition of thin films of materials.  Plasma is used to enhance the chemical reaction processes and thus, PECVD can typically be done at lower temperatures than conventional CVD.

PECVD systems include a power supply, match generator, electrodes, and vacuum system to create an RF signal (often at 13.6 MHz).

Silicon oxide is usually deposited using silane, SiH4, and nitrous oxide, N2O.  Nitride is typically deposited using silane and ammonia, NH3.


The interferometer is a quick and easy way to measure the thickness of a dielectric thin film.

When an electromagnetic wave is shined on a thin film, the reflection and transmission of the wave between media creates interferences patterns.  Component wavelengths from 200 nm to 900 nm are typical.  These wavelengths are ultraviolet (10 nm to 400 nm), visible light (380 to 750 nm), and short infrared (700 nm to 300 um).

Spectrophotometry is used to calculate the intensity of the reflected light as a function of wavelength.  The Fresnel equations are used for curve fitting and the thickness of the single-layer transparent film are obtained.

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