Investigation of plasma deposited hexagonal boron nitride thin films

Anutgan, Mustafa
Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) thin films are deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Effects of heat treatment and source gases on the structure and physical properties are investigated. Chemical bonding is analyzed in comparison with the better understood isoelectronic carbon compound, graphite. It seems that the basic difference between h-BN and graphite arises from the different electronegativities of boron and nitrogen atoms. Optical absorptions in UV-visible range for crystalline and amorphous structures are outlined. The expressions used for the evaluation of mechanical stress induced in thin films are derived. The deposited films are considered to be turbostratic as they do not exhibit the characteristic optical absorption spectra of a crystal. A new system, stylus profilometer, is implemented and installed for thin film thickness and mechanical stress measurements. Hydrogen atom density within the films, estimated from FTIR spectroscopy, is found to be a major factor affecting the order and mechanical stress of the films. Heat treatment of the films reduces the hydrogen content, does not affect the optical gap and slightly increases the Urbach energy probably due to an increased disorder. Increasing the nitrogen gas flow rate in the source gas results in more ordered films. The virtual crystal of these films is detected to be unique. Relative bond concentrations of the constituent elements indicate a ternary boron-oxygen-nitrogen structure. The physical properties of h-BN such as high resistivity and wide band gap seem suitable for optoelectronic applications such as gate dielectrics in thin film transistors and light emitting devices in the blue region.


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Citation Formats
M. Anutgan, “Investigation of plasma deposited hexagonal boron nitride thin films,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2007.