Chemical vapor deposition of boron carbide

Karaman, Mustafa
Boron carbide was produced on tungsten substrate in a dual impinging-jet CVD reactor from a gas mixture of BCl3, CH4, and H2. The experimental setup was designed to minimise the effect of mass transfer on reaction kinetics, which, together with the on-line analysis of the reactor effluent by FTIR, allowed a detailed kinetic investigation possible. The phase and morphology studies of the products were made by XPS, XRD,micro hardness and SEM methods. XPS analysis showed the existence of chemical states attributed to the boron carbide phase, together with the existence of oxy-boron carbide species. SEM pictures revealed the formation of 5-fold icosahedral boron carbide crystals up to 30 micron sizes for the samples produced at 1300oC. Microhardness tests showed change of boron carbide hardness with the temperature of tungsten substrate. The hardness values (Vickers Hardness) observed were between 3850 kg/mm2 and 4750 kg/mm2 corresponding to substrate temperatures of 1100 and 1300 C, respectively. The FTIR analysis of the reaction products proved the formation of reaction intermediate BHCl2, which is proposed to occur mainly in the gaseous boundary layer next to the substrate surface. The experimental parameters are the temperature of the substrate, and the molar fractions of methane and borontrichloride at the reactor inlet. The effects of those parameters on the reaction rates, conversions and selectivities were analysed and such analyses were used in mechanism determination studies. An Arrhenius type of a rate expression was obtained for rate of formation of boron carbide with an energy of activation 56.1 kjoule/mol and the exponents of methane and boron trichloride in the reaction rate expression were 0.64 and 0.34, respectively, implying complexity of reaction. In all of the experiments conducted, the rate of formation of boron carbide was less than that of dichloroborane. Among a large number of reaction mechanisms proposed only the ones considering the molecular adsorption of boron trichloride on the substrate surface and formation of dichloroborane in the gaseous phase gave reasonable fits to the experimental data. Multiple non-linear regression analysis was carried out to predict the deposition rate of boron carbide as well as formation rate of dichloroborane simultaneously.


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Citation Formats
M. Karaman, “Chemical vapor deposition of boron carbide,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2007.